At the Hancock Chamber, we’re proud of our 87 year history, yet what excites us most is the future, one where economic development and quality of life are equally valued.
You can see the signs of that future today, all across Hancock County.
• Our economy is fueled by a diverse range of businesses, from mom-and-pop bakeries to international corporations building the next generation of rocket engines.
• Our vibrant arts community puts us at the forefront of the emerging “creative economy” movement in Mississippi.
• Our rich culture and abundant natural resources allow our residents to enjoy everything from a world-class facility like INFINTY Science Center or simple pleasures like walking at dawn down our pristine beach trail.
At the Hancock Chamber we’re building toward the future by keeping abreast of the latest technological advancements in marketing and communication. While we still do ribbon cuttings to celebrate each new business opening, we’ve grown into a multi-tiered organization, with projects as diverse as our members.
In fact, we’re helping shape the future of Hancock County – and the State of Mississippi. For example:
• Just last year, the state legislature created the Hancock County Scenic Byways system, a designation that will attract thousands of new visitors each year and provide a significant cultural asset to our residents. The idea was hatched and shepherded for nearly a decade by the Chamber Greenways and Byways Committee.
• Our Education Committee has its eye on innovation, fostering programs like Excel by Five and “Bookworms” to arm the next generation of explorers with the skills they need to succeed and strive for excellence.
• Encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship is one of the keys to positioning our community for economic success. During 2012, we will launch the regional business resource center to provide technical assistance to small businesses to re-open their doors, expand and hire more workers.
The Hancock Community Development Foundation (HCDF) was formed by the Chamber in 2006 to act as a funding conduit for community projects with a broad spectrum of focus. In just six years, HCDF has acted as an incubator for over 20 non-profit causes, developed the Hancock Housing Resource Center and established a $3 million low interest/forgivable loan program for small businesses. We are now working on a program that could eventually create access to millions of dollars in loan capital for small businesses.
What’s in store for 2012 at the Chamber? We’ve got an action packed calendar of exciting new projects and advancements on long-range initiatives that have been in the works, including implementing the new Hancock County Economic Development Strategy, funded by our economic partner, the Hancock County Development Commission. To access our 2012 program of work, click here. When you see for yourself the scope of our projects, we’re sure you’ll share our enthusiasm .
What’s the source of our vision, drive and commitment at the Hancock Chamber? Maybe it’s the fact that our county is home to one of the most dynamic scientific communities in the world, NASA-Stennis Space Center. Or perhaps it’s the creative influence of our lively arts colony. It could be the fact that we have a three hundred year history of cultural diversity and a community spirit that’s been tested by time and nature. Whatever the source, the members and leadership of the Hancock Chamber have learned to think outside the box, embrace innovation and understand that with diligence and drive, the sky is not even the limit.