MS Power Foundation and MS Coast Chamber award grants to local minority businesses

Today, minority business owners not only learned ways to make money, but also received money thanks to the Mississippi Coast Chamber of Commerce and Mississippi Power Foundation.

Minority small business owners from across the Coast gathered at the Knight Nonprofit Center to enjoy breakfast, a diversity council workshop, and 16 businesses even received $1,000 through the Shine a Light Minority Small Business Grants. Mississippi Power Foundation Executive Director Steven Dick said, “Small businesses and entrepreneurship is the backbone of the economy, most if not all communities.”

In 2020, the Mississippi Power Foundation contributed $80,000 to the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber Foundation to establish the Shine a Light Minority Small Business grants. The grants allow minority business owners to continue to grow and advance. Grant recipient Christy Bjork Elias said, “It means the world to us knowing that we can make an impact to small businesses here in the community, to shine a light on small businesses here in the community is truly something that is impactful.”

Christy Bjork Elias is the co-founder/owner of Gulf Coast Moms Blog and Studio E and she received two grants to continue her successful businesses. “To be able to give back to our community and impact not only other small business owners, but children, mothers, so we are just so very thankful.”

Along with the guest presentation, guest speaker and grant recipient LaShaundra McCarty talked about how business owners can learn how to invest in their own strengths and recognize their potential for growth. “A lot of people dive into entrepreneurship and feel like they are doing it on their own sometimes. They don’t even seek out mentors. So, if I have the opportunity to share some of the things that I have learned along the way and could possibly help somebody else not make some of the same mistakes. I am more than willing to do so. We are in a position where we can all thrive together.”

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