Advocacy has a Listening Ear for Small Business Owners in Mississippi

By Bruce LeVell, Region 4 Advocate

On August 8, 2018, I went on a small business listening tour to Gulfport and Biloxi and met with several small business owners.

In Gulfport, I heard firsthand the stories of how small business owners were coping after Hurricane Katrina. They are resilient and very strong. Survival during that economy and the government regulations in place did not make it easy. I spoke to business owners who were in the startup and planning process for their business. I had the privilege of meeting with the owners of Southern Grounds Coffeehouse in Gulfport on Carl Leggett Road and I was able to witness how women in the field have been innovative in their efforts to promote their products. Small business owners have had to rebuild, and it was encouraging to know that multiple Chambers of Commerce in Mississippi were receptive to the Office of Advocacy.

My small business journey in Mississippi did not end there that day, because I was encouraged to attend another event the following day. The future of business in Hattiesburg was discussed by a diverse audience at the University of Southern Mississippi on August 9, 2018.

Bruce LeVell serves as the Region 4 Advocate for the SBA Office of Advocacy, representing small businesses in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. LeVell works with small business owners, state and local governments, and small business associations to bring the voice of Region 4 to Washington DC. He can be reached at

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