Small Business Committee Minutes

Small Business Committee
Meeting Notes
May 10, 2006

 

Attending –
Cindy Childers, Patrick Chubb, Terese Collins, Clark Griffith, Bud Jones, Keith Levine, Adele Lyons, Bruce Marie, Kay Miller, Sarah Rider, John Shinn

Adele Lyons reviewed the notes from the previous meeting and recommendations were discussed for the final report.

The recommendations areas that will be included in the report are –

  1. Continue to seek changes from Congress in the HUB Zone regulations in order to have more of the Coast be noted as a designated area
  1. Presentation and distribution of disaster planning information for small business.
  1. Provide better communications and distribution of information for small businesses in Biloxi to make citizens aware of what resources are available from various agencies.
  1. Consider adoption of a Vacancy Tax and / or fine.
  1. Consider the creation of an office / commerce park in the northern portion of the city so business will have a location option that is not in a flood area.  Consider offering this space / land at a reasonable rate to encourage small business growth, development and expansion.
  1. Contact USM Gulf Coast and investigate available property to be used to relocate the campus to Biloxi.  Lobby the Mississippi Legislature to allow dormitories as part of the campus.
  1. Investigate the USDA Community Connect Grant program to determine if Biloxi fits the criteria for the program and if so, pursue the grant opportunity. (Adele Lyons)
  1. Investigate the plans for a new community center in East Biloxi to determine if additional facilities and purposes might be included so that the facility will become a multi-purpose building to meet many needs of the community.  Ideas include the relocation of the downtown library as part of the building (consider multi-story building with library on upper floors), classrooms for technical and workforce training programs presented by a higher education institution, recreational uses, etc.  Consider some retail space for rent.  Ideas included first floor space for caterers, florists and cafes that might serve the community center during events such as weddings.
  1.  Consider adoption of a rent stabilization ordinance.
  1. Encourage diversity of small business in City of Biloxi and provide assistance to all businesses not just casinos (Terese Collins)
  1.  Consider grants / tax credits made to small companies for employment including hiring and retaining family members as these parties are excluded as part of the GO Zone programs.
  2.  Review and update sign ordinance
  1. Monitor legal issues including non-regulation of business insurance, wages paid by FEMA, unemployment tax rate increases.
  1. Consider upgrading and offering wireless Internet access throughout the city to create “hot spots” for connectivity.

 

Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 17, 2006 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Gulf Coast Business Technology Center, 1636 Popps Ferry Road in Biloxi.  An official meeting will not be held, but committee members are welcome to meet with Committee Chair Adele Lyons during this time to discuss any changes to the recommendations.

 

 


Reviving the Renaissance Small Business Committee Meeting Notes April 26, 2006

 

Attending –
Roy Mattina, Jr., Judi Adcock, Jeffrey Brewer, Becky Anzalone, Kay Miller, Clark Griffith, Bud Jones, John Shinn, Terese Collins, Dan Hill, Adele Lyons, Wallace Ann Austin

Adele Lyons pointed out that it was time to refine our list of recommendations in order to begin to put together details and specifics on the ideas and concepts.  Gen. Griffith addressed the group and gave an update on the entire process.

The recommendations areas that will be included in the report and the person responsible for gathering additional information are listed below.

  1. Continue to seek changes from Congress in the HUB Zone regulations in order to have more of the Coast be noted as a designated area  (Bud Jones)
  1. Presentation and distribution of disaster planning information for small business.   Information is being sought from Red Cross and seminars are being planned. (Adele Lyons)
  1. Provide better communications and distribution of information for small businesses in Biloxi to make citizens aware of what resources are available from various agencies (Adele Lyons)
  1. Consider adding a requirement of a contingency plan part of the permitting process.
  1. Consider adoption of a Vacancy Tax (Kay Miller)
  1. Consider the creation of an office / commerce park in the northern portion of the city so business will have a location option that is not in a flood area.  Consider offering this space / land at a reasonable rate to encourage small business growth, development and expansion. (Dan Hill)
  1. Investigate ways the higher education institutions can provide curriculum and training for a better workforce for small businesses. (John Shinn)
  1. Investigate the USDA Community Connect Grant program to determine if Biloxi fits the criteria for the program and if so, pursue the grant opportunity. (Adele Lyons)
  1.  Investigate the plans for a new community center in East Biloxi to determine if additional facilities and purposes might be included so that the facility will become a multi-purpose building to meet many needs of the community.  Ideas include the relocation of the downtown library as part of the building (consider multi-story building with library on upper floors), classrooms for technical and workforce training programs presented by a higher education institution, recreational uses, etc.  Consider some retail space for rent.  Ideas included first floor space for caterers, florists and cafes that might serve the community center during events such as weddings. (Adele Lyons, Jeffrey Brewer, Terese Collins)
  1.  Investigate what surveys have been completed by the Coast Chamber, Keesler Credit Union and others to review the needs of small business.  If survey does not provide adequate info, consider asking a Chamber of Commerce to distribute one. (Wallace Ann Austin).
  1. Consider adoption of a rent stabilization ordinance. (Wallace Ann Austin)
  1. Encourage diversity of small business in City of Biloxi and provide assistance to all businesses not just casinos (Terese Collins)

Other ideas that have been discussed at previous meetings that may be mentioned in report submitted to Mayor include:

    1. Consider grants / tax credits made to small companies for employment including hiring and retaining family members. (Becky Anzalone)
    2. Review and update sign ordinance
    3. Legal issues including non-regulation of business insurance, wages paid by FEMA, unemployment tax rate increases

 

Next meeting – Wednesday, May 10, 2006         and         Wednesday, May 17, 2006
11:30 am – 1:00 pm                                   11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Gulf Coast Business Technology Center
1636 Popps Ferry Road, Biloxi

 

Consider grants / tax credits made to small companies for employment including hiring and retaining family members. (Becky Anzalone)

 

 

Reviving the Renaissance Small Business Committee
Meeting Notes April 11, 2006

 

Attending –

Judi Adcock, Becky Anzalone, Jeffrey Brewer, Kearn Cheery, Wes Fulmer, Dan Hill, Jud Jones, Keith Levine, Adele Lyons, Bruce Marie, Sarah Rider, Brian Young

 

Discussion points –

 

The committee revisited the various ideas that had been considered at previous meetings.

 

Becky Anzalone presented her idea of grants to small businesses for wages for family members.  The idea has been passed on to City of Biloxi CAO David Staehling for his review and the Finance Committee to consider a method of payment for this plan.

 

The more pressing ideas that will be considered for action include –

 

  1. Better communications and relationships to the small business community through a liaison who could help make resources available and provide assistance to the small businesses.  Additionally, a business / commerce park with incentives available to small business was discussed.  The location would be north of I-10.  (Brian Young, Bud Jones, Kearn Cherry)

 

Adele Lyons, Jeffrey Brewer and Judi Adcock noted that several agencies exist that provides these types of services.

 

  1. A multi-use facility that would include retail and services businesses, housing, educational facilities and meeting room facilities. (Jeffrey Brewer, Judi Adcock, Kearn Cherry, Bruce Marie)

 

  1. Legal issues including non-regulation of business insurance, waiving or laxing permits for businesses (parking), wages paid by FEMA, unemployment tax rate increases. (Sarah Rider, Dan Hill)

 

  1. Additional incentives including expansion of HUB zones and Main St. programs. (Bud Jones)

 

  1. Consider ways to revive many of the older businesses in Biloxi that may not be re-opening. (Keith Levine)

 

Each committee member present was assigned to complete a detailed written analysis and assessment of the idea or concept.   The names are noted after each idea.  Each committee member is expected to submit their written paper to Adele Lyons (btc@cableone.net) by Monday, April 24 by 12 noon.  Adele will distribute the information to the entire committee for a discussion and review at the meeting on April 26th.

 

Additional discussion was held regarding a better sign ordinance (Patrick Chubb) and hot spots for Internet access.

 

Next meeting – Wednesday, April 26, 2006

11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Gulf Coast Business Technology Center

1636 Popps Ferry Road, Biloxi

Large meeting room


 

Please mark your calendar for the upcoming meeting of the Small Business Committee.

DATE:  Tuesday, April 11, 2006

TIME:  4:45 – 6:30 pm

LOCATION:  Gulf Coast Business Technology Center, 1636 Popps     Ferry Road, Biloxi, large meeting room.

 

RSVP by noon, Monday, April 10th to btcdebra@cableone.net, or by fax 392-9743 or by phone 392-9741.

Thanks, Adele Lyons, chair.

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