Power Forward Expo helps small business owners network

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Mississippi Power Company and other organizations hosted a free seminar Thursday to help small business owners with networking and developing new partnerships.

The Power Forward Business, Supplier & Contractor Expo brought dozens of business owners from Mississippi and Louisiana to the Lake Terrace Covention Center.

They heard from economic leaders and small business developers, as well as city leaders and state lawmakers.

"This is really about preparing to put yourself in the greatest opportunity to be successful," said John Atherton, vice-president of corporate services and community relations for Mississippi Power Company. "If small businessmen and women wait until a project is announced, or a project goes to bid, then they've waited too long to capitalize on that opportunity. It's about preparing for those opportunities," he said.

"Being a business owner in the State of Louisiana, a small business owner and a woman-owned business, I'm always looking for opportunities to expand my client base," said Jennifer LaPierre of Bossier City, La. "This event has provided me that opportunity," she said.

"We're trying to expand, we're trying to grow and this is a great opportunity to meet various vendors, suppliers," said Felix Lee, a business owner from Gulfport.

Keynote speaker was nationally-known political strategist and business owner Donna Brazile.

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