A recent CNN Money article lauded Hattiesburg’s “long-standing tradition of entrepreneurship” as a primary reason for the city’s ranking among the Top 10 Best Places to Launch a Small Business.
That ranking does not surprise Andrew Murff, director of Business Launchpoint, a small business incubator created in 2005 through a collaboration between The University of Southern Mississippi and the Area Development Partnership.
“Business Launchpoint’s critical role in assisting small businesses is evident by our recognition from CNN and has only been possible by generous support from regional organizations and businesses,” said Murff.
Business Launchpoint, located in downtown Hattiesburg, provides early-stage business counseling assistance, office space, shared office services and amenities to assist companies with launching and developing new ventures. The company’s mission is to assist potential high-growth businesses and to create jobs and wealth within the community.
Murff notes that business incubators are critical to a regional economy because they help develop jobs that are more organically grown within the community and thereby more stable.
Some quick facts from the National Business Incubator Association:
• Every 50 jobs created by an incubator generates approximately 25 more jobs in the same community
• Approximately 84 percent of incubator graduates remain in their founding community
• For every $1 of public operating subsidy provided by the incubator, clients and incubator graduates generate approximately $30 in local tax revenue alone
A half-dozen companies are currently located within Business Launchpoint. In the past year, two tenants have graduated -- Town Square Design Co., was acquired by Eco-Systems Inc., and SafeHeart Health Screens relocated to 28th Avenue in Hattiesburg.
“Hattiesburg is one of the best places for small business startups because of strategic and forward thinking by our regional economic developers,” said Murff.
For more information about Business Launchpoint go to www.businesslaunchpoint.com To read the entire CNN article, go to http://money.cnn.com/smallbusiness/best_places_launch/2009/snapshot/142.html
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.