Bay St. Louis, MS--- The Magnolia Business Alliance (MBA) is pleased to announce the recent continued funding of two business assistance programs it administers on behalf of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) designed to help improve the economy in the region.
MBA is a non-profit coalition of small businesses serving as a support organization and forum for the advancement of small and medium businesses in the Southeastern US. SBA selected MBA in 2010 and 2012 as one of 10 organizations nationwide receiving “Regional Innovation Cluster” (RIC) contracts. SBA selects RICS based on each cluster’s partnerships, technical capacity, and local assets to support existing regional cluster work, as well as experience fostering business development and growth opportunities.
MBA manages the 12-year-old Enterprise for Innovative Geospatial Solutions (EIGS) technology business cluster, which started in 1998 as an initiative and evolved over time to a more mature cluster producing solid results for all stakeholders from the federal and state government to academic to the private sector. At the time, businesses operating at Stennis Space Center were generating a tremendous amount of research and knowledge, but they were seeing minimal business growth. That has since changed and in the past two years, with investment from SBA funding, EIGS has created over 100 jobs and has saved 184 jobs. Over the same period, the cluster has been directly involved in helping members secure $14 million worth of contracts. Additionally, the program has helped its members learn about opportunities that have resulted in another $47 million worth of business.
EIGS members turn to their industry cluster support organization for assistance ranging from routine press releases to getting concentrated help in dealing with serious business challenges. A sampling of services provided to EIGS and MBA member companies include identifying and analyzing contracting opportunities, writing and disseminating press releases, hands on mentoring in preparing company financial records and accounting systems for DCAA compliance, performing “red team” reviews and editing services on SBIR proposals, developing partnerships between companies to jointly pursue contract opportunities, informing companies of important developments in Washington, and helping companies work with their members of congress more effectively.
EIGS Membership is open to companies in the geospatial technology and/or remote sensing industry. For more information about EIGS, its business members, or how to join, please visit http://mseigs.com/
The Mississippi Development Authority also contracted with MBA this year to conduct minority enterprise outreach and provide technical assistance to women and minority-owned businesses in South Mississippi. MBA provides mentorship, training, logistics, and other support as needed to facilitate the development of new companies, a favorable business environment for existing companies, and foster community and national awareness of issues affecting Minority businesses.
“We are thrilled about the expanded opportunities these programs offer small businesses in our region. We look forward to continued service to fellow small businesses that make up the backbone of our economy,” said MBA President and Co-Founder Craig Harvey.
The SBA contract is for a period of one year with four option years based on performance. The MDA Minority Enterprise contract is awarded annually.
In addition to these programs, MBA also provides both free and advanced commercial services for member and non-member companies.
The Magnolia Business Alliance (MBA) is a 501(C)6 not-for-profit corporation acting as a support organization and forum for the advancement of small and medium businesses (SMB) in the southeastern US. For more information please visit www.magnolia-ba.biz