USM Small Business Development Center

In March 2015, USM officially opened a Small Business Development Center located in Room #224 of the Trent Lott National Center on the Hattiesburg campus as a partnership among the USM College of Business, USM Trent Lott National Center, The University of Mississippi, The Mississippi Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) and the Small Business Administration.


MSBDC Regional Director Mitch McDowell and Counselor Rita Mitchell will staff this new and exciting service. McDowell has been serving and growing small businesses at the Innovation Center in Biloxi, Mississippi for 5 years, alongside Counselor Connie Whitt.


Mitchell and McDowell energetically welcome new clients. 'It's a privilege to serve South Mississippi's burgeoning small business community," stated McDowell. "The USM SBDC office will be coaching clients from the feasibility stage through first planning steps to the needed business plans. This includes loan applications and crucial details to help improve each new small business's chances of surviving and thriving."


To request a one-on-one counseling session or register for a small business workshop, contact Mitch McDowell and Rita Mitchell at 1-800-725-7232 or 601-266-5892.


For more information, access, OR to sign up for new business counseling and workshops, please email