SBA to host event for rural business owners and entrepreneurs

Published 7:00 am Friday, September 13, 2019

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the USDA are partnering to bring lenders, business counselors and contracting officials to rural business owners, farmers and entrepreneurs on Sept. 19.

The “Rural Strong” outreach event will give attendees a chance to meet one on one with business counselors for technical assistance with challenges like putting together a marketing plan, said Janita Stewart, SBA District Director for Mississippi via email. Attendees can also learn about the programs provided by SBA, and by the USDA Rural Development and Farm Service Agency, including small business loan programs and federal government contracting opportunities.

There will be presentations by resource organizations like Community Bank, Renaissance Community Loan Fund and Mississippi Development Authority, Stewart said via email. SBA-funded resource partners such as Mississippi Network of Small Business Development Centers and SCORE will be available to discuss issues like putting together a business plan, Stewart said in the email. Along with presentations, organizations will have booths and tables set up for one-on-ones time with attendees.

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The SBA and USDA have worked together on two similar events in north and central Mississippi, but this is the first event of its kind in Poplarville, Stewart said in the email.

In the 2018 to 2019 federal fiscal year, there have been 202 SBA loans approved totaling $69.7 million to rural Mississippi businesses, Stewart said via email.

“These loan approvals serve to create and retain jobs, expand the tax base and promote positive economic impact,” Stewart said.

The event will take place in White Hall on the Pearl River Community College campus from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 19. Attendees must register for the “Rural Strong” event through eventbrite and can contact Rosetta Harris at, 601-965-4077, or Debbie Dean at, 601-965-4202, with questions.