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Small Business Spotlight: Kepler’s Italian Grill, Greenville

From busboy to business owner Kepler says he’s made mistakes and will make more as boss of restaurant At nearly 28 years old, Kepler Martin has spent half his life in the restaurant business, working his way up from busboy to server and eventually managing restaurants in the Delta and in Tyler, Texas. This spring, his dream of owning a ...

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Small Business Spotlight: Tara’s Cakes

In the mid-1990s, while in college, Tara Graham made a birthday cake for the child she was babysitting. But it would be nearly a decade after that Elmo-and Big Bird-iced cake that her college hobby became a thriving business in Hattiesburg. Her cake-decorating skills were soon in demand among parents of other children while she was attending the University of ...

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Small Business Spotlight: JDS Wealth Strategies, Columbus.

Spears takes lesson from father to start his business Jason Spears grew up in Philadelphia as the oldest of four children, and while the family never went without necessities, there wasn’t room in the budget for extravagance. His father worked at U.S. Motors, and, as an hourly worker, was subject to forced layoffs and shutdowns. “He always found ways to ...

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Bringing back Central Ave.

In the 1970s and into the 1980s, Central Avenue in D’Iberville was a bustling corridor that connected the small Gulf Coast town with its larger neighbor, Biloxi. Businesses thrived there. According to D’Iberville’s director of community development, between 15,000 and 20,000 cars pounded the Central Avenue pavement daily, most of them carrying commuters to and from Biloxi. That isn’t the ...

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Impact on BP station owners varies across state

Coast stations seeing more fallout than the rest of Mississippi It is hard to find anyone with a good word for BP these days as the nightmare of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continues to wash up over the Gulf Coast. But how does that affect the dozens of BP gas station owners in Mississippi? National news stories have reported that ...

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Small businesses can benefit from stimulus plan

What does the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), better known as the stimulus plan, mean for small businesses in Mississippi?  Among the plan’s provisions available to aid small businesses are an increase from 80 to 90 percent in loan guarantees, funding for increased access to broadband, computerized healthcare records and construction projects, investments in public, maritime and air transportation ...

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Most believe boycott isn’t productive

With some people still boycotting Exxon due to the Valdez oil spill in Alaska 21 years ago, certainly there is talk about boycotting BP because of the Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout. But a BP boycott seems to have little support on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. “We have received e-mails from organizations other than Sierra Club calling for a boycott,” ...

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Experts: State’s political structure to blame

According to the Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, Mississippi ranks last among the 50 states in small business startups. The index, compiled by the Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City, Mo., is a leading indicator of new business creation in the United States. It uses government data and information from new business owners for its analysis. “I am not surprised that Mississippi ...

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Small Business Spotlight: Café Mike’s of Corinth

From dream to reality Couple makes success in Northeast Mississippi A Chicago couple’s dream has turned into a culinary boon for one North Mississippi city. In 16 years since moving from the Chicago suburbs to Corinth, Marcia and the late Mike Guare’s small barbecue joint has turned into a thriving café serving pizza, salads, appetizers, sandwiches and steaks. Mike and Marcia ...

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Small Business Spotlight: Lann Hardware, Aberdeen

A history in hardware The Lann family has been serving the people in and around Aberdeen for 130 years For more than 130 years, the Lann family in Aberdeen has been in the hardware business. The original store opened in 1879 with Capt. H.J.B. Lann and a man named Carter as the founders. “Capt. Lann was my great-grandfather, and he’d ...

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