Resources for Small Business Owners

To our dear business owners, Main Street supporters, members, and partners:

We understand that these are uncertain times and uncharted waters. We are working to compile a list of resources that may be beneficial to you and your business. If you have not already, please join the Laurel Main Street Members Facebook Group. We are sharing information there as quickly as we receive it. Additionally, we are listing resources here, on our blog, in the hopes that you’ll be able to find the information that is most helpful to you, all in one place. Laurel has always been a city known for its tenacity, and this time will be no different.

We Are Laurel!

For information about the coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the following government public health organization websites:

For resources related to small business, please visit the following websites:

Mississippi Power Project Share & Community Connection

Mississippi Power, through its Foundation, has announced a $350,000 commitment to assist South Mississippi residents, local charities and small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $350,000 will be dispersed via Mississippi Power’s Project Share and Community Connection programs:

·         $200,000 for Small Businesses – Businesses with 50 employees or less are eligible for this new Project Share program distributed through Catholic Charities.

·         $100,000 for Project Share – Distributed through Catholic Charities. Any Mississippi Power customer with a demonstrated financial need may be eligible to apply for Project SHARE by simply calling 1-855-847-0555.

·         $50,000 for Local Charities – Food banks, non-violence and youth shelters, and other agencies that count on Community Connection donations to operate, especially during a crisis.

We suggest that you call Catholic Charities at 1-855-847-0555 for more information or to apply. 

Help for Live Event Cancellations

If you feel led to assist in efforts to support members of our community who have been impacted through the cancellation of live events, here is sample language to send when writing or emailing elected officials.

Sample letter to Congress:

Subject: Protect Live Events Small Businesses
Dear Representative [NAME], 

As you consider relief legislation to assist Americans in responding to COVID-19, I am writing to urge you to include resources to assist those of us for whom congregating in large gatherings is actually our living. 

I work in the live events industry and we have seen our revenues dry up virtually overnight. I know we all have to do our part to fight this pandemic and that stopping large gatherings through social distancing is our best approach. My hope is that the assistance you are developing provides fast, substantial, and easily accessible aid for small businesses like mine.

Thank you for considering my request, and thank you for all you are doing to help us get back on our feet after this crisis.

Sincerely,

[CREATOR NAME], [TITLE]
[BUSINESS NAME]
[BUSINESS ADDRESS]

Reminders

Inaugural Laurel Leap Day This Saturday

Teams have been assembled, practices are popping up, and the trash talk has begun! That can only mean one thing: the Inaugural Laurel Leap Day Basketball Tournament is this weekend!

On Friday, we will draw for bracket slots and announce the brackets on social media.

Official Schedule of Events:

8: 30 a.m. — Bracket Board Up 

9:30 a.m. — Courts open for warmup

9:50 a.m. — Invocation

10:00 a.m. — Tournament begins 

12:00 p.m. — Tournament pauses for

Proclamation honoring Coach Therrell

3 Point Competition

Dunk Competition

(dunk competition will be on a 9ft goal)

1:30 p.m. — Tournament resumes 

4:30 p.m. — Winners announced at end

Events of this magnitude would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors.

Slam Dunk Sponsor

First State Bank

Ankle Breaker Sponsor

The Print Press

Buzzer Beater Sponsors

Gilchrist, Sumrall, Yoder, Yoder & Leggett

David L. Sullivan PLLC, Attorney at Law 

Scotsman Co.

Playmaker Sponsors

Ear, Nose and Throat Surgical

South Central Sports Medicine & Performance

Whitney Pickering

Chris Wilson, Realtor

In Memory of H. Gordon Myrick, Sr

It takes a lot of muscle, time, and man-power and time to put on events like Laurel Leap Day. We are thankful for our event producers:  Columbia Block & Brick, Laurel Parks & Recreation Department, City of Laurel, Laurel Mercantile, studio 5 fifty, Laurel Main Street, Endom Trailer, Supertalk, B95 Country, Rock 104 and WDAM TV.

Please note: In the event of rain, the tournament will be held in the gymnasium at Laurel High School.

We hope you’ll join us for the next great downtown Laurel event: Dixie Electric Touch a Truck March 7, 2020.

Meet the Judges for the 2020 Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off

The annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off will take place on Central Avenue in beautiful downtown Laurel on Saturday, February 8, 2020. Teams from across the state will compete to win the chili trophy. The job of judging all that deliciousness can’t be easy, but we’ve rounded up a team of tasters who are up to the task!

Meet the Judges

Joe BerlinJoe Berlin is a 23 year veteran of law enforcement. Before being elected as Sheriff of Jones County, Berlin was a Sergeant in the Laurel Police Department. Sheriff Berlin is married and has two daughters. He loves fishing, spending time with his family, and serving the citizens of Laurel and Jones county.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessica Bowman is the WDAM 7 Sunrise morning anchor. The Texas native is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. During her years as a Golden Eagle she honed her skills interning in the newsroom at ABC’s World News Tonight in New York.

She started her reporting career on the Mississippi Gulf Coast before moving to Jackson, and eventually joining WDAM as an anchor and reporter.

She is an Associated Press award-winning reporter and has covered hurricanes, oil spills, state corruption trials, high profile homicide investigations and other extraordinary feature stories.

 

Akeem Davis is a former American football safety that played in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Memphis, and signed with the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent in 2014. Davis has also been a member of the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars.

He is currently the cornerbacks coach for the University of Southern Mississippi. Davis is married to his high school Sweetheart, Sierra Sky Davis and they are parents to daughter Carsyn, and son, Corinthian Akeem Davis II.

Davis is also the founder of the AD47 Football Leadership Academy. The AD47 Football Leadership Academy is a free, one-day, football skills camp, dedicated to promoting leadership, citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. AD47 is sanctioned and insured by the NFL Foundation and run in partnership with USA Football through the FUNdamentals program. The inaugural AD47 was held in Laurel, MS in June 2015, and featured 53 school children, ages 8–12 from across the Laurel area.

Angela Tarrant is the Executive Producer and Showrunner for HGTV’s Home Town, set in beautiful Laurel, MS.  She has been working on the show since helping produce the pilot episode in 2015.

Angela has directed and produced several pilots and sizzle reels for HGTV, including The HousleysHome Stretch, Make Me Rich and Rough Housing.

Before starting a career in home renovation television, Angela spent 15 years working on national news programs in New York and Washington, DC. They include On the Record with Greta Van Susteren at Fox News, The Abrams Report and Scarborough Country on MSNBC and Burden of Proof and American Morning on CNN.

Angela was born in Marietta, Georgia and received her B.A. in journalism and political science from DePauw University. 

 

Originally from Meridian, MS, Andy Webb is an On-Air Radio Personality who’s entertained & informed listeners from Mississippi to South Carolina (and back again) for 25 years. Andy won the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters’ “Radio Personality of the Year” award four out of five years (2006-2010), and has been featured on numerous formats, including Country, Classic Rock, Adult Contemporary, Hot AC, Southern Gospel, and even Urban AC. You can now hear him weekday mornings from 6am-10am on B95’s “Breakfast Club.” Andy currently resides in Hattiesburg with his wife, Emma, and his daughter, Isabel.

 

 

Thank you to our incredible Sponsors and Producers!

Events like the Chili Cook Off just wouldn’t be possible without the support and backing of local businesses. These sponsorships help pay for the prizes, supplies and more! Their donations also help fund the Laurel Main Street Façade & Amenities grant and are directly responsible for the improvements you see in downtown Laurel.

Our Signature Sponsor

The Chili Cook Off’s signature sponsor is Magnolia State Bank. We are so thankful for the financial support and helping hands they provide every year to make this event a successful one.

Hot Sponsors

The City of Laurel

Jones County Chamber of Commerce

Jones County

Sanderson Farms

Spicy Sponsors

Carl & Mandy BuchananCommunity BankMississippi PowerB Clean LLC, Mike Axton and Southern Beverage Company

Our Producers

Event producers provide in-kind support of the event by providing products, services or advertising to make the event a reality. Thank you to WBBN B95 Country, Supertalk Radio, WDAM, and Studio5Fifty for helping to promote and organize the event.

It’s Time for the 9th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!

On Saturday, February 8, 2020, Downtown Laurel will once again welcome hungry customers and competition teams with their top secret chili recipes. The annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off is one of Laurel Main Street’s most popular events each year. 

Early in the morning, teams will begin setting up and decorating their booths along Central Avenue.  All of the teams will prepare their recipes from scratch as attendees look on. The event officially begins at NOON. 

For just $10, you can enjoy an “all-you-can-eat” bowl.  For $25, enjoy a “bottomless” Carl Buchanan keepsake pottery bowl.  This year, skip the line and purchase your tickets in advance! Visit www.eventbrite.com to get your tickets before the big day. 

Our expert panel of judges will taste each entry and decide who wins the $1,000 prize in each category. We’ll reveal our taste masters soon!

Think you’ve got what it takes for total chili domination? Click here to enter your team!

Thank you to our incredible Sponsors and Producers!

Events like the Chili Cook Off just wouldn’t be possible without the support and backing of local businesses. These sponsorships help pay for the prizes, supplies and more! Their donations also help fund the Laurel Main Street Facade & Amenities grant and are directly responsible for the improvements you see in Downtown Laurel.

Join us February 8, 2020 in Downtown Laurel for the 9th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!

Tagged chili cook offcommunitydowntowneventi live in laurelLaurelLaurel Main Streetlaurel ms

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

The 1920s was a decade of prosperity and dissipation, and of jazz bands, bootleggers, raccoon coats, bathtub gin, flappers, flagpole sitters, and marathon dancers, and in a few short weeks, the streets of downtown Laurel will be filled with revelers welcoming the “Roaring 20s” back to Laurel.

In the 1920s, Laurel was a city on the move. The Eastman-Gardiner Lumber Company was booming and Laurel was known as the Yellow Pine Capital of the World. The sawmills were shipping out one million board feet of lumber daily on rail car. People were moving to town for jobs at the newly formed Masonite Corporation and visitors and residents alike enjoyed going to the picture show at the newly constructed Arabian Theatre.

The inaugural Downtown Countdown is a free event held in the heart of Downtown Laurel. Beer and Champagne will be served, as well as food from food trucks. Some of your favorite downtown restaurants will also be open during the festivities: Lee’s Coffee & Tea, Slow Boat Brewing Co., and The Loft on Central.

VIP Area

The VIP tent will be in front of Mimmo’s Ristorante Pizzeria and will be open from 6:00 p.m. until the end of the event. Guests will enjoy exclusive live entertainment, seating, firework show viewing, refreshments by The Gables, a fully stocked cash bar, casino games, a cigar bar by Guild & Gentry, private restrooms, and premium parking. Our theme for the Downtown Countdown VIP area is “Roaring into the 20s,” so get creative and dress to impress! Click here to purchase VIP tickets for $100 each. Please note, the VIP area is for those 21 and up only.

On the Main Stage

Live entertainment is brought to you by our platinum sponsor, Howard Industries. Red & the Revelers is a collection of musicians from Mobile, AL and the Gulf Coast, and they’re sure to delight with their mixture of Americana and Deep South Soul. Emerald Empire from Birmingham, Alabama will follow with their high energy performances of the songs you know and love.

Be sure to stay until midnight when we lower our custom made 70 foot Pinecone and for a spectacular fireworks display! This dazzling display would not be possible without the creative team at Headrick Signs & Graphics and the generous sponsorship of Bancorp South.

For the Kids

The children’s area will be located on the 400 block of N. Magnolia Street and will feature music, games, activities, and face painting. At 8:00 p.m. there will be a kids countdown by Ben and Erin Napier of HGTV Home Town, a balloon drop, and a mini firework show. The appreciate the generous sponsorship of Shug’s Cookie Dough and Candy Bar, Crescent Line Toys and The Loblolly Boutique for the children’s activities.

Event Schedule

6:00 p.m.

Food Truck and Beer Service begins on Oak Street

Kids Area activities begin on the 400 block of North Magnolia Street

8:00 p.m.

Kids balloon drop and firework show

Red & the Revelers begin on the Main Stage

9:00 p.m.

Emerald Empire on the Main Stage

11:30-11:55 p.m.

Champagne Service

12:00 a.m.

Pinecone Drop

Firework Show

Midnight Performance