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SBA extending direct loans to coastal businesses, residents in wake of Isaac

  Hurricane Isaac’s late August battering of the Mississippi coast has left an estimated 1,500 businesses eligibility for low-cost federal disaster recovery loans administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. In addition to disaster assistance applications from 1,558 businesses that claim at least some property damage, another 27 businesses that had no physical damage but claim economic injuries have applied ...

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Chief health official calls bed bugs major threat to Mississippi hotels

Cimex lectularis — aka the bed bug — followed man out of the caves millenniums ago and has been biting the hand that feeds it ever since. And, increasingly, guests of Mississippi hotels are enduring those bites, Dr. Jeffrey Brown says. As state entomologist and director of the Mississippi Department of Health’s Environmental Services Bureau, Brown has been calling for ...

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New Coast CVB leader, Beth Carriere, touts tri-county marketing initiative

As a 20-year veteran of the tourism industry, Beth Carriere is pleased that the business sector now sees tourism as an important part of the state’s economic mix. The new executive director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau is also excited about the move toward a united three-county Coast tourism initiative. “I’m thrilled to see support and ...

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It ain’t just about the music

Delta getaway includes great music, food, people and attractions Sometimes people don’t appreciate what is in their own backyard. A case in point might be a blues getaway to the Mississippi Delta. While many people in the state might not know how many great blues attractions there are in the Delta, it is no secret to people in Europe and Australia. ...

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More than just a casino town

What once was idled farmland is now a tourist attraction for travelers across the globe   Sure, legalizing riverboat gambling in Mississippi moved Tunica from one of the poorest counties in the nation — compared in the worst of times to a third-world country — to a leading casino destination in the United States.  Yet in addition to birthing a ...

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New things added to keep ’em coming back

Palace’s 110,00-square-foot renovation largest on Coast since Katrina   The state’s casinos periodically add new amenities and expand old ones to entice visitors to return. Whether it is new dining options, remodeled hotel rooms, new games or other improvements, the goal is to provide new experiences for guests. Perhaps the biggest change is the expansion underway at the Palace Casino ...

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Charming Gulf Coast town delivers

Shopping, art, museums and history attract visitors to this cool coastal community   Ocean Springs is a colorful coastal city with an abundance of activities for visitors. It has more than 1,100 rooms for lodging, including hotels and bed and breakfast inns, all located a short distance from the downtown shops and beach. “Ocean Springs is a great getaway for ...

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Building on a musical heritage

The birthplace of country music only scratches the surface of the offerings in this town   Billed as “A Better Longitude on Fun” because it sits on the 88 degree longitude line, the City of Meridian promises a good time to visitors looking for a getaway destination. Known as the birthplace of Jimmie Rodgers, the father of country music, the ...

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Waiting, watching and planning

State’s gaming industry slowly recovers from recession while looking at new projects   The gaming industry is alive and well in Mississippi despite the recession that has affected this once considered recession-proof industry. The state’s top gaming regulator, a gaming operator and a gaming lawyer all believe the worst is behind and the future looks bright for this sector. “The ...

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Hub City’s museums, outdoors, history beckon

Pine Belt’s capital gives visitors many choices   Outdoor activities, museums, a zoo, history, shopping and dining are some of the options waiting for visitors to Hattiesburg.  Billed as the Hub City, this South Mississippi city is conveniently located on Interstate 59 and U.S. Highways 49 and 98 and is home to the University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey ...

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