Partners group plans to visit industries

Published 3:35 pm Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ron Fine, executive director of Partners for Pearl River County, told Partners board members on Monday night that a Mississippi Development Authority official who oversees the development of existing industries will be here on Nov. 11 to help Partners evaluate what they can do to help existing industries with problems they face.

MDA official Robert Williams along with Partners officials will tour some existing industries to help Partners get a better fix on the needs of existing industries, such as help with possible expansion plans.

“I and some members of the board will be visiting some existing industries on Nov. 11,” said Fine, “and any board member who wants to join us is welcome.”

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He said that officials will visit “four or five industries,” conduct a walk-through and then with Williams and the industry “principals” sit down and have a dialogue with the company’s officials on their needs.

He said Partners will make follow-up visits to the industries.

He said he and Williams were finalizing a list on which industries to visit.

In other matters, board member Reggie Hanberry said his committee’s investigation into the topic of financing for local businesses showed that local banks are willing to advance start-up loans, but there are requirements that the local prospective businessman must meet.

“First, the person starting the business has to have good credit. No. 2 he has to have money to put into the business himself, and No. 3, you have to have a good business plan showing how you plan to successfully establish and sustain the business,” said Hanberry.

“A business plan is the most important thing,” added Hanberry.

Hanberry, who said he has had some experience in this end of business, said that he was with an organization that “everyday somebody was in there” saying they had a good idea and wanted to start a business.

“But when you start talking to them about personal funds to put in the start-up or about business plans, you lose a lot of them,” he said.

In other matters, the board:

— Heard a report from Ernie Lovell on fund raising and public-private partnerships.

— Heard a report from Woody Spiers on new industries and industrial parks.

— Heard a report from Verdell Hawkins on industrial park certification.

— Set the next board meeting for Nov. 30.

— Acknowledged the Nov. 12 leadership class to be held at PRCC.