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Extension partners with business experts
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service recently formalized a partnership with the Mississippi State University Small Business Development Center to enhance economic development opportunities for entrepreneurs across the state.
The MSU SBDC, funded in part by U.S. Small Business Administration, guides people who are interested in starting a business or improving an existing business through counseling, education and access to financial assistance. Workshops are offered regularly on topics such as the first steps to starting a business and how to develop a business plan.
The MSU SBDC delivers workshops at county Extension offices and participates in Extension programs. So when the MSU SBDC needed office space that was more easily accessible to its clients, their director, Hamp Beatty, turned to the Extension Service for help.
“By moving into the Bost Extension Center, we hope to increase collaborative opportunities with the Extension Service on economic development assistance to rural communities in Mississippi,” Beatty said. “MSU is the people’s university. The Extension Service has a wonderful infrastructure and ability to reach people, and we want to be part of that service to Mississippi’s entrepreneurs.”
With this new tie to the Extension Service, Beatty hopes to see an increase in referrals from county offices.
“I look forward to assisting Extension personnel and their clients with business-related questions or will refer them, as needed, to their local SBDC office for face-to-face counseling,” Beatty said.
Established in 1984, the MSU SBDC is part of the Office of Graduate Studies and Outreach in the College of Business. The MSU location is one of eight regional Mississippi SBDC offices that are located on university and community college campuses, coordinated through their headquarters at the University of Mississippi.
Special programs designed to increase small business ownership among women, minorities and military veterans can help bolster communities.
“Small businesses make a significant contribution to local and national economies,” Beatty said. “By providing goods and services to consumers, employment opportunities and much-needed tax revenue, small businesses keep the economy in motion.”
The MSU SBDC serves 10 counties: Choctaw, Clay, Kemper, Lauderdale, Lowndes, Monroe, Montgomery, Noxubee, Oktibbeha and Webster. Information can be found online at http://www.business.msstate.edu/sbdc or by calling (662) 325-8684. To reach the main MSBDC office, call 800-725-7232.