Small businesses get boost - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Small businesses get boost

By Kevin Wheeler - bio | email | Twitter

Hattiesburg, MS (WDAM) - Getting in the business of running a small business can raise a lot of questions.

"A lot of people ask how much is it going to cost me to start a small business," said Andrew Murff, director of Business Launch. "They go online and someone says I'll write you a small business plan for $1000. "I encourage people don't ever go there."

Business Launch is an assistance program that assists people in starting their businesses.

"We help them from starting with their business plan financial projections, and then we'll go a step further, not just doing business counseling, but we offer physical office space in the incubator," said Murff.

Business Launch point has been operating since 2006. There are six clients currently running small businesses with the help of Launch Points.

"They have grown, they have brought in revenue, they have expanded their businesses, so I count that as success right there," said Murff.

Bert Kuyrkendall was once a client. He started a civil engineering company. Kuyrkendall said he would not have been able to get on his feet without the assistance.

"I learned a lot, made some great contacts, and I had some great projects and I feel like I learned things I never would've learned otherwise," said Kuyrkendall.

Many of the businesses are launched in downtown Hattiesburg. Business owners say downtown is a good place to start.

"You just offer something to your local people that they cannot get at a huge metropolitan area," said Main Street Books owner Diane Shepherd.

Historic Downtown Hattiesburg Director Betsy Rowell said she welcomes new and small businesses.

"We have a really great entrepreneurial sprit in the downtown area," said Rowell. "They can start here, they can be nurtured here and grow up and we'll find a space for them in the downtown area."

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