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Olive Branch couple turns an ear toward hearing aid venture

After Joe Pickler was downsized from his job as a software salesman, he wasn’t ready to head into retirement. Instead, he and his wife, Gayle, a medical space planner, decided to start their own business. “No one wanted to hire a 64-year-old salesman,” Pickler said. “We are knowledgeable and talented. So we decided we would just open our own business. ...

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Colleges prep for interior design job surge

It’s all about space planning at the state’s interior design schools where students learn ways to make interior spaces more livable and workable. There are four-year accredited programs such as Mississippi College, Mississippi State University and the University of Southern Mississippi where students earn bachelor degrees in interior design. There are also university parallel programs at Northeast Community College and ...

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SBA promise loan increase for country's veterans

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s top lenders have signed on with the SBA’s Veteran Pledge Initiative to pump up their loans to veterans by 5 percent a year for the next five years. The SBA has enlisted its top 20 national lenders and about 100 regional and community lenders to help veteran-owned small businesses. SBA officials estimate that the initiative ...

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Restaurants beating back the recession

The Mississippi restaurant industry has climbed back from the hit it took during the recent recession to show $3.2 billion in sales in the most recent fiscal year, up six percent from the previous year. Employment was up by 2.9 percent to a total of 80,835. “The rest of the story is that 80,835 figure puts us only back to ...

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Golden Nugget stakes its claim on the Coast

Late on the afternoon before the Golden Nugget’s big debut in Biloxi, general manager Jim Hoskins sounded calm and cool. “We have a great team,” Hoskins said by way of explaining his no-sweat attitude before the official unveiling of the new brand. The next day, on June 21, the ribbon was ceremoniously cut on the first phase of a transformation ...

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Convention centers across state throw open doors

The economy is shaky and casino business – a major player in tourism – is down. So, how are meetings and conventions – another important part of tourism – faring? Three of Mississippi’s most popular places for meetings and conventions – the Gulf Coast, Jackson and Natchez – say business is good. “Our convention and meeting business in Natchez has ...

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Inspectors help keep eateries safe

Next time you enjoy a meal in a restaurant, don’t just compliment the chef. You might also want to thank the county Health Department inspector who pokes around in the kitchen to make sure diners stay safe from nasty food borne illness. John Luke, director of food protection with the state Department of Health, estimates there are about 90 employees ...

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Keesler AFB’s impact is measured in more than dollars

Keesler Air Force Base’s presence in Biloxi and South Mississippi is so extensive that it has to be measured from several angles, including historical, economic and community service. The base is rooted in the region’s history, dating back to June 1941 when the War Department activated Army Air Corps Station No. 8, Aviation Mechanics School in Biloxi. The War Department ...

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Soft-spoken steel man Tommy Dulaney well-respected in his industry

Tommy Dulaney is well-respected statewide for taking an initial $60,000 investment in Meridian’s Structural Steel Services in 1975 into a business today that specializes in building structural steel for power plants, steel mills and other industries worldwide. But while building SSS into a business employing 330, Dulaney has found time to volunteer, including serving as chairman of the Mississippi Economic ...

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DUFFIE: Yes, your favorite recipes can be revived

We all have that favorite dish that our mom or grandmother made when we were growing up. Perhaps you have several dishes that come to right now. You can actually taste and smell them as your memory takes you back. As you reflect on the ingredients, you are also aware now that those dishes were “heavy,” made with a lot ...

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