Monday, August 9, 2004


(Meridian, Miss.) - Governor Haley Barbour brought job creation "majic" to East Central Mississippi today. The Governor, who has made job creation one of his administration's top priorities, announced three Make-A-Job Impact Center (MAJIC) grant awards for the East Central Mississippi communities of Meridian, Philadelphia, and Carthage. The three are part of 11 MAJIC grants awarded statewide to stimulate small business and rural entrepreneurial growth.

"Job creation has always been a top priority for this administration. The MAJIC program helps hometown Mississippians start their own businesses, which is a vital part of job creation," said Governor Haley Barbour. "I am pleased to announce that East Mississippi is receiving grant monies to foster entrepreneurial and economic development in this

The Make-A-Job Impact Center (MAJIC) awards, a new Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) sponsored project, provide planning monies to communities and colleges to develop shared-use centers that will stimulate and nurture clusters of small businesses.

The MAJIC program arises from the Governor's desire to support Mississippi entrepreneurs who wish to "make jobs" for themselves rather than "take jobs" offered by others. With small businesses creating 60 % to 70 % of all jobs in the U.S., small business and rural entrepreneurship support is critical to overall job creation in Mississippi. "Last week I announced our upcoming August 19th expo to highlight economic opportunities for agriculture and rural development.

Today I announce MAJIC grants. These initiatives are designed to build momentum for small and rural business development across the state,"
explained the Governor.

MAJIC is designed to provide interested parties with the necessary resources and financial incentives to create an environment for entrepreneurship, community commitment and technical expertise. The Governor highlighted three East Central Mississippi grants:

* The City of Philadelphia will receive a $14,766 grant to plan a MAJIC center to help small businesses market, inventory, and sell products via the Internet in Neshoba, Newton, Scott, Leake, and Winston counties.

* The East Mississippi Business Development Corporation will receive $24,850 will to plan a commercial kitchen MAJIC center to serve entrepreneurs in the specialty food production and catering business. It will serve entrepreneurs from Lauderdale, Clarke, Kemper, Newton, Neshoba, and Jasper counties.

* The Leake County Industrial Development Association will receive $8,180 to research its place-based assets to determine the best type of shared-production center for its area and develop plans to implement such a center.

Statewide 11 agencies were awarded grants totaling up to $233,950.
Grant recipients include:

City of Philadelphia- $14,766; East Mississippi Business Development Corp.- $24,850; Leake County Industrial Development Association- $8,180; University of Mississippi Small Business Development Center- $24,976; USM Polymer Institute-$25,000; MSU Forest and Wildlife Research Center, Forest Products Department- $19,950; Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation- $25,000; Stone County Economic Development Partnership- $19,036; Pearl River Community College- $22,192; University of Mississippi, Division of Technology Management- $25,000; City of Yazoo City- $25,000;

"MDA is excited by the variety and breadth of these MAJIC proposals," said Bill Crawford, MDA's Deputy Director for Community Assistance. "Our communities and colleges propose shared-production centers related to medicinal plants, wood waste, food production, wood polymers, and arts and crafts and to serve Mississippians from 50 counties. For a first time demonstration project, this is a tremendous response."


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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741