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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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GAO report signals trouble with health insurance exchanges beyond Mississippi

By Ted Carter Mississippi may not be alone among the states for which federal officials have fallen perilously behind in getting health insurance market place exchanges ready for open enrollment Oct.1 The General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, says the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has missed a series of deadlines and another miss could cause ...

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Columbus building new jobs with arrival of sustainable brick maker

COLUMBUS, Mississippi – Sustainable building products maker CalStar is setting up manufacturing operations in the Golden Triangle Industrial Park. The company will hire 17 workers when the plant opens in the first quarter of 2014 and increase to 58 employees over three years. Wisconsin-based CalStar is putting $8 million into a 100,000-square-foot building shell in the Golden Triangle Industrial Park ...

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Help navigating Obamacare available at new Balch & Bingham blog

JACKSON, Mississippi — Balch & Bingham LLP has launched the Affordable Care Act Review, a blog authored by members of the firm’s Affordable Care Act Strategists, a cross-disciplinary team created to provide advice and guidance on the ACA. The ACA Review, at acareview.com, serves as a resource to provide information, practical commentary and analysis to the business community, says the ...

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Mississippi 5th nationally in business startup activity

Mississippi is ranked 5th nationally in the most business startup activity in 2012, according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. Mississippi had a startup rate of 430 per 100,000 adults. Montana leads the list with 530 startups per 100,000 adults. Others in the Top 10 are: 2. Vermont, 3. New Mexico, 4. Alaska, 6. California, 7. ...

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MBJ: Indiana’s take on Mississippi manufacturing is self serving, at best

Indiana has employed a scorched earth economic development strategy of degrading the manufacturing and logistical capabilities of its Midwestern neighbors and Southern competitors such as Mississippi. While generously pointing out all the shortcomings of others the Hoosier State goes up against in the economic development arena, the study sponsored by Conexus Indiana — the state’s manufacturing initiative — had to ...

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Ag Department offering farmers help with safe produce certification

Mississippi vegetable and fruit growers who want to reap the benefits of the nation’s growing appetite for fresh produce need to show they use safe and sanitary harvesting and crop handling practices. The industry standard is U.S. Department of Agriculture certification through Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) audits. The testing certifies safe and sanitary practices throughout ...

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