Economic Development

The Hancock Bank building is the oldest commercial building on the Hancock County beachfront.

Imagine a community where innovation and heritage are equally valued.  Dream of a place that fosters a forward-thinking business environment along with the natural one.  Envision people who are seeking both sustainable prosperity and a rich quality of life. Discover Hancock County.

On this page, scroll down or access the menu to the left to find an amazing array of local, regional, state and federal business resources. Since the Hancock Chamber works closely with our colleagues at the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission, directly below you’ll find shortcuts that will take you to some of their on-line resources – as well as information about our own award winning Business Resource Center.  It is located at our offices (111 Court Street in Old Town Bay St. Louis), where our staff will gladly assist you.

Hancock County Resources

Business Resource Center

The Chamber’s new Business Resource Center is now operating five days a week.  Trained counselors offer resources for creating business plans, information on obtaining financing, and referrals for important information to help start up or grow local businesses. Call (228) 467-9048 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.

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Hancock County’s Economic Development Strategy

You can read and/or download  PDFs containing information about the county’s Economic Development Strategy, a plan that will help us be competitive for the jobs of tomorrow and raise our performance to the next level of success.

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Port Bienville Industrial Park

Owned and operated by the Hancock County Development Commission, this 3,600 acre industrial park is home to 18 industries and 1200 workers.  The location has a direct connection with Hwy. 90, is near Interstates 10, 12 and 59, maintains a 12′ draft port with multiple berths and a shortline railroad, making the park able to meet a wide variety of industrial needs.

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Airport & Airpark

Owned and operated by the Hancock County Development Commission, the 580 acre general aviation airport boasts an 8500 ft grooved and lighted runway, full service FBO and a 100 acre airpark. The recent acquisition of 1100 adjacent acres will allow for further expansion of the airpark and eventually, another 10,000 foot runway. Construction on a new two-story terminal and 24,000 square foot hangar facility is underway, slated for completion in the beginning of 2013.  A new administrative building is currently in design, while existing office space is undergoing expansion.

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International Business

Being an international point of entry on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Hancock County welcomes non-domestic industries and employers.  Our low cost of doing business and state and local incentives are valuable tools used to attract new and expanding companies.

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Hancock County, by the numbers…

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Growth Sectors

Find details about the types of industry and business booming in Hancock County.

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Regional Resources

Gulf Coast Business Council

The Gulf Coast Business Council is a strong voice of business on public policy issues of importance to the Mississippi Gulf Coast region. Through leadership and collaboration on targeted strategic issues, it promotes and advances the economic vitality and quality of life in our region.

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Mississippi Gulf Coast Alliance for Economic Development

An independent partnership of five economic development agencies that work to promote the six Mississippi counties nearest the Gulf of Mexico — including Hancock. Through this professional partnership, businesses and industries that are considering relocating or expanding to the Mississippi Gulf Coast can work with a central contact to obtain the facts and assistance needed for a thorough evaluation of the area.  The Alliance can also provide extensive information on the region’s five key industry sectors — aerospace, advanced materials, geospatial, marine science and shipbuilding.

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Magnolia Business Alliance

An organization and forum for the advancement of small and medium businesses (SMB) in the southeastern US.  Consists entirely of SMB leaders providing mentorship, training, logistics, and other support as needed to facilitate the development of new companies, a better environment for existing companies, and foster community and national awareness of issues affecting small businesses.

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Gulf Coast SCORE

The Gulf Coast Chapter of SCORE (Service Corps Of Retired Executives) offers free one-on-one counseling – including Cyber Counseling – workshops and resources.

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State Resources

Mississippi Development Authority

Oversees a wide array of programs to assist established businesses and encourage new ones.  Among other things, you’ll find information on relocating to the statecommunity development, the Creative Economy, webinars and programs, and an amazing library with other resources.

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MDA Minority Business Resources

MDA works with minority and women-owned businesses to facilitate networking with key industry partners from public and private sectors. They can also help you find joint ventures and subcontracting opportunities, as well as technical and financial assistance to help you better compete for federal, state, local government and commercial contracts.

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Mississippi Small Business Development Center at the Hancock Chamber

A University of Mississippi project, “helping to transform Mississippi one small business at a time.”  Investor assistance, free business videos and info on technology transfer, workshops, government contracts and international trade.  The GC SBDC is a partnership with SBA, the Mississippi Legislature and the University of Mississippi.

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Mississippi Enterprise for Technology

A private, non-profit organization dedicated to creating high-skill, high-wage jobs in Mississippi. MSET taps the scientific and technical assets of the state to promote industrial growth, stimulate new business start-ups, and attract companies to Mississippi.  MSET is a joint effort of the Mississippi Development Authority, NASA and Mississippi’s universities.

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Mississippi Procurement Technical Assistance Program

An integral element of the Mississippi Development Authority.  A private non-profit corporation – South Mississippi Contract Procurement Center, Inc. – operates the center in Biloxi.  The MPTAP provides its services only to Mississippi businesses. The services are provided at NO CHARGE. Their mission is to enhance national defense and economic development of the state of Mississippi by assisting Mississippi businesses in obtaining federal, state, local government and commercial contracts.

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Mississippi Economic Development Council

The Mississippi Economic Development Council serves as the voice for Mississippi’s economic/community development and chamber of commerce professionals and their constituencies. Through collaboration with other local, state and national entities, MEDC establishes and advocates Mississippi’s economic and community development agenda.

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Electric Power Associations of MS – Economic Development

The Economic Development Department of the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi has recently launched a new website.  It allows site selectors and potential industrial clients to select and view buildings and sites in Mississippi utilizing Google Earth based on the user’s search criteria. The site also includes important information about incentives, demographics, education and government in Mississippi, along with interactive national, regional and local maps with overlays.

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Mississippi Power – Commercial Development Resources

Mississippi Power recognizes the significant contributions of small businesses in our communities in southeast Mississippi. The company offers programs to support the start-up, expansion and retention of small businesses by providing business incentives, site information, demographics, energy management consultation and other services. Our representatives act as a catalyst to connect small business owners with area resources to generate successful growth.

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Other State Resources

Mississippi Secretary of StateMississippi Insurance Commission, and the Mississippi State Tax Commission.  “More info” takes you to MDA’s extensive business resource library.

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Federal Resources

Small Business Administration

Anything  you might want to know about small businesses and making them successful, including marketing, plans, health insurance and franchises.

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A site where you can network with other small business owners and get advice on starting, growing and managing your business. Contains extremely valuable resources, for example, the article, “Five Steps to Government Contracting.” 

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The Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO)

Assists women in achieving their dreams and improving their communities by helping them start and run successful businesses, regardless of social or financial disadvantage, race, ethnicity or business background.

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IRS Small Business Start-up Info

ALL you’ll need to know about your business and taxes.

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SBIR & STTR Programs

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs provide an opportunity for small, high technology companies and research institutions (RI) to participate in Government sponsored research and development (R&D) efforts in key technology areas.  If you are a small business concern with 500 or fewer employees, or a non-profit RI, such as a university or a research laboratory with ties to an SBC, then NASA encourages you to learn more about these programs and significant sources of seed funding for the development of your innovations.

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SATOP – Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program

Strives to transfer the knowledge and technology of the space program to small businesses. Currently only small businesses located in Texas may request technical assistance, but according to their website, “SATOP continues to pursue funding to support its future nationwide operations. Once new funding is secured SATOP will resume the acceptance of Requests for Technical Assistance nationwide. A notification will be placed on the website when this occurs.”

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Federal Business Opportunities

Information on thousands of active federal opportunities of various government agencies.

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Doing Business with NASA

The site for Stennis Space Center Procurement.

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Doing Business with the Navy

The NAVSUP Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) is the small business advocate committed to maximizing procurement opportunities for small businesses and minority-serving educational institutions in support of SECNAV goals to identify and develop small businesses that can support the NAVSUP mission and the Navy-Marine Corps force for tomorrow.

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur Assist

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s website contains a number of informational and educational tools for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

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Questions? Please Contact (228) 467-9048