A Basic Foundation for Community Development
Community development is a partnership between small businesses and local governments.
Small businesses are the foundation of the American economy, accounting for 65 percent of net new jobs and 44 percent of U.S. private payroll between 1993 and 2009. The responsibility of local governments includes providing public services, infrastructure, public education, and promoting a business environment that fosters job creation and the delivery of retail goods and services to its citizens. Small businesses provide goods and services to consumers and create jobs in the process. Local governments and small businesses must both expend their available revenue and resources as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. Government entities are responsible for prudent management of public assets, while businesses seek to make a reasonable profit to continue their operations. Effective local government and profitable small businesses working together are essential components of society. Both need informed, progressive individuals with the knowledge, vision, and determination to compete successfully in a fast-paced and constantly changing economic environment.
The MSU-ES Center for Government and Community Development works through local Extension Service offices to provide assistance to Mississippi’s counties and municipalities to identify and improve the assets in their community that are essential for industrial and retail business recruitment, retention, and expansion. The GCD also provides counseling, training, and assistance to start-up and existing small businesses and works with regional planning and development district offices (PDDs), the Mississippi Development Authority, the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics, and other MSU departments to identify and promote potential areas for growth and opportunity in local communities. The goal of the center is to provide knowledge based resources to local governments and businesses that will enable them to build a prosperous and sustainable economy.
The MSU Extension Service, through its training and outreach, is committed to fulfilling the university’s mission as a land-grant institution to provide learning, research, and service to the State of Mississippi and to the advancement of initiatives that serve the public interest and improve the quality of life for its citizens.
Available Workshops and Presentations
- "The Basics" Small Business Workshop
(Introductory Information for Start-up and Existing Small Businesses)
- Principal Sources of Revenue for Local Governments in Mississippi
(A Comparison with Neighboring States)
- Access to Capital - Funding and Financing for Local Foods
A workshop outlining the many options for gaining access to funding and financing for small farm based business, value added agricultural operation, and local foods initiatives such as farmers markets or special events. Potential topics include grant writing, funding opportunities, financing, budgeting, agricultural policy, crowdsourcing, and many more.
For more information or to schedule a program, contact:
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Tourism employees, city council members, elected officials and others interested in growing tourism in rural areas are invited to attend an upcoming tri-state conference. The Alabama-Mississippi-Tennessee Rural Tourism Conference will be held Oct. 23-25 in Cleveland, Mississippi. The conference is open to anyone who works in tourism, economic development or public service. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with professionals in the tourism industry and attend multiple educational sessions.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- In Mississippi, 230,000 residents lack access to high-speed internet and the many benefits it offers, but the Mississippi State University Extension Service is working to help change that. Devon Mills, an assistant Extension professor of agricultural economics, is leading an effort to build an inventory of all the organizations in the state working to promote digital skills and literacy. This effort, called the Mississippi Digital Asset Mapping Project, is helping spread the word about a survey to help construct that inventory.
POPLARVILLE, Miss. -- Current and prospective market vendors can learn valuable marketing skills in a Feb. 9 workshop in Poplarville. Farmers Market Vendor Workshop: Boosting Your Revenue will teach participants valuable skills to help them increase sales. The workshop is open to vendors who sell at festivals, farmers markets and other similar venues.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Business leaders looking to upgrade their social media marketing strategies can now get started by tuning in to a new podcast series.
Bricks-To-Clicks Marketing, a Mississippi State University Extension program, helps business leaders develop a digital marketing plan to bring in more customers and revenue. The program has launched an eight-episode marketing podcast centered around use of social media platforms to grow personal brands and businesses.
Entrepreneurs can get the resources and training needed to launch a small business in 30 days in an upcoming series of online courses.
StartUp Mississippi participants will learn how to create a small business plan, conduct a market analysis, promote their business on social media, gain necessary resources for establishing a business, and create and maintain a webpage.
The Excellence in Tourism Leadership Program is training volunteers, employees, and board members involved in Mississippi’s tourism sector and related organizations as they build networks with fellow tourism professionals.
Bricks to Clicks provides free, low-cost, and easy-to-use marketing resources to help small businesses grow their audiences and income. Free marketing resources include a website course, one-on-one coaching, webinars, podcasts, a blog, and a bimonthly newsletter. With these marketing resources, business owners can get personalized guidance backed by decades of marketing experience to drive online awareness and engagement to increase sales.
Opening the right lines of communication is usually a prerequisite for anyone planning to start their own business.
Vaunita Martin cares so much about the rural county where she attended Itawamba Community College that she’s made a career out of making it an even better place.