Help the Glory House Win a $25,000 Grant!

 The Glory House in Laurel MS has made it to the final round of the State Farm neighborhood Assist Grant program!!!  You can vote for them 10 times a day to help them win!  VOTE HERE!!! 

Don’t miss the FREE webinar “State of the Economy”

The Mississippi Small Business Development Center will be offering a FREE webinar on Wednesday, August 25th. Former State Economist, Darrin Webb will be presenting an overview and briefing of the current state of the Mississippi economy and business outlook. Register for this informative event HERE.

Attend the Women In Business Pre-Event Workshop!

JUST ADDED — Pre-event workshop with
Time Management Coach Anna Dearmon Kornick!
Add on to your registration for only $15!
30-minute workshop will begin at 10:30 AM

Priorities Rock: How to Get to the Heart of What Matters Most
Join Time Management Coach Anna Dearmon Kornick for a new perspective on priorities. From business to babies, professional development to personal time – you’ll walk away from this workshop with a simple method for prioritizing everything in your life.  Once you get the hang of it, you’ll see that Priorities Rock!

Job Fair at Sawmill Square Mall September 16!

The Jones County Economic Development Authority will host the I-59 Job Fair in association with The Governor’s Job Fair Network of Mississippi from 9:00AM until 1:00PM on September 16th in Sawmill Square Mall in the old JCPenney space.

Employers wishing to hire may participate by registering online before September 3rd. The fee is $125 and includes 1 skirted table, 2 chairs, and 2 lunches.  The I-59 Job Fair is free to attend for all job seekers. Pre-registration for job seekers and registration for employers is available online  by completing the  Job Fair Registration Form or at

HGTV Renews HomeTown for Season 6!

HGTV has ordered a 20-episode Season 6 of Home Town, starring Laurel locals Erin and Ben Napier. Additionally, following its successful premiere, spinoff Home Town: Ben’s Workshop been renewed for a 10-episode second season on Discovery+.

It is no secret that Laurel and Jones County have seen a big influx of tourists since the show aired. Each year we see their popularity grow and new states appear on the license plates driving around town. The buzz and excitement surrounding the show has encouraged small business owners and brought a new wave of customers to our area. Jones County has certainly benefited from Ben & Erin’s hard work and we thank them for their investment in the community!

Read the full press release from Discovery below.

New York [August 9, 2021] HGTV has picked up 20 episodes of fan favorite series Home Town after it attracted a whopping 32 million viewers during its last season. Starring home renovation experts Erinand Ben Napier, the series will spotlight the couple as they bring new life to outdated homes in Laurel, Mississippi, and navigate their busy family life as parents of two. In addition to airing on HGTV in early 2022,  the new season of Home Town also will be available to stream on discovery+. And, following its successful debut on the streaming platform, the exclusive series, Home Town: Ben’s Workshop, has been picked up for a new season of 10 episodes. The series spotlights Ben as he welcomes celebrity guests to his real-life workshop.

“I’ve always loved the bigger projects we do for Home Town because Erin and I help make a difference for homeowners and for entire neighborhoods,” said Ben. “Now I have the added bonus of sharing more of my passion on Home Town: Ben’s Workshop. Showcasing the patience and detail that goes into woodworking with fans who wanted to see more of that process is a dream come true.”

The couple, who have more than one million followers on social media, will continue their mission to revitalize their small town one home at a time using Erin’s artistic vision and Ben’s woodworking prowess.

“Home Town is not just about renovations, it’s about the power of community,” said Jane Latman, president, HGTV. “We love that the series delivers great ratings in all key demos, season after season, but it’s the inspirational message about neighbors working together, as well as Ben and Erin’s enthusiastic fans, that have helped HGTV build yet another breakout franchise.”

Fans are invited to stay connected with Ben, Erin and Home Town at Fans also can follow @HGTV on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #HGTVHomeTown for additional show content and updates and can follow Ben ( and Erin (@erinapier) on Instagram.

Home Town and Home Town: Ben’s Workshop are produced by RTR Media, Inc.


Health & Safety at Women In Business!

We have been working hard not only to make Women In Business an informative and enjoyable event, but also as safe as possible for all attendees. We will have limited seating available to allow for social distancing so be sure to register soon!  Please see the below health and safety precautions in reference to this event.

Health & Safety Precautions for Women In Business:

  • Masks are strongly encouraged for all attendees and will be available on site.
  • Registration for the event will be limited so that we can safely space tables and limit seating at each table.
  • Safety measures will be in place for lunch service.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the venue.
  • Additional policies may be added in accordance with public safety guidelines at the time of the event.

Meet the Women In Business Experts Panel!



Leslie began her banking career with Community Bank in 2003.  Having had the opportunity to work in every area of the Bank, Leslie has the knowledge and understanding needed to effectively assist customers with their financial needs, whether personal or business.  Currently, she is the Senior Vice President of Business Development.

Leslie concentrates on servicing business and commercial clients as well as personal banking customers all while providing leadership in sales, marketing and business development for Community Bank of MS Coast Region.  She is proficient in the treasury management field and can address customers’ needs to ensure their business runs efficiently while assuring cost effectiveness.

Leslie is a 2013 graduate of the Mississippi School of Banking at the University of Mississippi, a 2018 graduate of Leadership Gulf Coast, in 2019 was named by the Mississippi Business Journal Top Ten 50 Leading Business Women in Mississippi and was recently named by the Mississippi Business Journal as a 2021 Top 50 Under 40 recipient.

Anna is a Time Management Coach, wife and mom who helps busy professionals master time management so they can stop feeling overwhelmed and start spending time on what matters most.  Anna believes that success and stress don’t have to go hand in hand, and that busy is NOT a badge of honor.

As the host of It’s About Time – A Podcast about Work, Life and Balance, Anna shares time management tips, productivity strategies and real-life advice to help her listeners make the most of their time. In addition to teaching actionable takeaways, Anna interviews other go-getters to find out how they navigate family, friends, fulfilling careers and full schedules.

Building on more than a decade of experience in the fast-moving, high-stakes world of political and crisis communications, Anna knows a thing or two about using time well. Early in her career, she served as the chief spokesperson for a Lt. Governor, and managed the hectic schedule of a U.S. Congressman. She’s helped small business owners, nonprofits, political candidates, Fortune 100 companies and executives tell their stories and focus on what matters most.

Laura is Founder and CEO of The Business Growers, a results-driven marketing firm based in Jackson. For the last 18 years, Laura has led and managed marketing efforts for companies from technology startups and global, multi-billion dollar businesses. She spent nearly half her career serving as a corporate marketing executive in the telecommunications industry before starting The Business Growers. Her career focus is built around driving marketing ROI and developing strategies that lead to tangible success. At The Business Growers, Laura developed a proven, three-step framework to monitor business growth, evaluate marketing effectiveness and ensure businesses have the right components in place to grow and scale.


Laura has been honored as one of Mississippi’s Top 50 under 40” and “Top 50 Leading Women in Business.” Johns graduated cum laude from Mississippi College. She earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of Alabama. She is the co-founder and host of The Home and The Hustle podcast and The Know, Grow and Scale podcast. Learn more about The Business Growers at


Interstate-14 Corridor Passed Through U.S. Senate

On Tuesday, August 3, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved an amendment adding congressional authorization of the full Interstate-14 five state corridor expansion to the pending Bipartisan Infrastructure Package. The completed I-14 would run from Midland-Odessa, Texas through Laurel and end at Augusta, Georgia.

“Interstate-14 being included in this package will benefit Jones County for generations to come. Proximity to Interstates is one of the top factors large industries look for when choosing areas to expand into. This major infrastructure advancement will allow us to compete at a higher level.” said Ross Tucker, President of the Jones County Economic Development Authority.

We have seen lobbying efforts from counties, cities, and economic development professional across the route in efforts to have this amendment passed. It is wonderful to see the hard work pay off.  The Bipartisan Infrastructure Package still must move through the House of Representatives and the Oval Office before becoming a law.

Be a Vendor for Women In Business!

Vendor spots are now open for our 2021 Women In Business Forum!

Do you offer a service for women-owned businesses? Reserve a vendor space and interact with potential new clients during the event! Only $50 and includes one ticket to the Forum!Download the vendor form and return to by August 13. The $50 vendor free includes 1-ticket for the WIB Forum and Luncheon; 1-6’ unskirted table; 2 chairs

Vendor policies:

  • Vendors will be approved who offer services or products that are associated with professional women and their personal or professional growth and development.
  • Set up will be from 8:30 AM-9:30 AM
  • Vendors are not allowed to sell anything at their booth
  • No outside food or beverages are allowed
  • Vendors may offer door prizes to be given away during the general session. Please drop off door prizes at the Chamber office by Friday, August 20. Additional door prizes/raffles are allowed at booths.
  • The vendor area will remain open through the conclusion of the event at 1:00 pm and may not breakdown before the event is adjourned.

Women In Business “Ask the Expert” Panel Announced!


We are excited to announce this panel of experts for the 2021 Women In Business forum! Questions may be submitted in advance by emailing Topics up for discussion include entrepreneurship, marketing, social media strategies, business development, financing, budgeting and growth, time management, goal setting and more. This panel is comprised of very knowledgeable women and we are excited to learn from them!