- By moving into another facility, The University of Southern Mississippi
Small Business Development Center will be able to service its clients
of our move to a larger site, we now have enhanced capabilities
to improve our service," said Lucy Betcher, director of the
SBDC, which is located at the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. "This
move has given us greater opportunity to provide wider and more
beneficial services to help ensure the success of the Harrison,
Hancock, Stone, Jackson and George County prospective and existing
small-business owners that we serve."
The need for
more space was apparent in January when the SBDC expanded its service
area and then added more personnel.
for the Small Business Development Center in Jackson, Stone and
George counties were reassigned to Southern Miss at that time. Formerly
under control of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, these
three counties are now under the university's management.
The SBDC is
still located at the Gulf Park campus, but is housed in a different
building. The new location, 143 Beach Park Place, features a classroom;
the previous facility did not. The move has allowed the SBDC to
be connected to its resource library and computer lab. At the other
facility, the center could only see a maximum of about 12 people
for startup counseling sessions or workshops. In the new building,
as many as 50 people can be serviced.
the addition of two new employees, additional office space was needed.
Billy Lawson of Gulfport was hired in May as a part-time business
counselor. Lawson, a native of Kentucky, holds a master of business
administration degree from Upper Iowa University. He covers Jackson
and George counties.
of Bay St. Louis was hired in June as another part-time business
counselor. A native of New Orleans, he holds a master of business
administration degree from the University of New Orleans. He previously
worked at a small-business development center at Nicholls State
University in Thibodeaux, La. He sees clients in both Long Beach
and Stone counties.
The new location
allows complete handicapped accessibility, as well as allowing the
center to conduct all but the largest training events under one
roof. Clients will now
be able to
obtain all services provided at this location at a single address.
Previously, space on campus would have to be reserved for large
workshops and the SBDC would have to work with the university to
find open classrooms, which made scheduling workshops difficult.
The SBDC is
a nonprofit, government-funded organization designed to provide
comprehensive management and technical assistance to owners and
potential owners of small businesses. There are 20 development centers
throughout Mississippi. Before taking over the additional counties,
Southern Miss Gulf Coast was responsible for Harrison and Hancock
For more information
on the SBDC and its services call (228) 865-4578.