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New Albany hosts state-wide conference

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Updated: 9/18/2013 8:41 am
NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WTVA) — Downtown New Albany is the location for a two-day meeting called "The Mississippi Conference on Business and Entrepreneur Development".

"This will be the first time that we've partnered with Mississippi State, the Extension Service, the Entrepreneur Center M.D.A., and the Mississippi Economic Development Council," said Bob Wilson, executive director of the Mississippi Main Street Association.

The conference will welcome guests and speakers from all over the Magnolia State and even from some surrounding states.

"We have some speakers from Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee and then, we have a lot of our attendees coming from the cities like Pascagoula, Biloxi, Tunica. All different areas across the state," said Main Street Association Manager Vickie Duke.

Sessions during the conference will cover topics ranging from effective use of social media, to attracting and sustaining businesses in your town or city.

"The workshops will focus on you know what fits their market... what will help you bring a business to your downtown area," said Duke.

The Executive Director of the Mississippi Main Street Association says downtown New Albany is one example of a Main Street success story.

"It has a special place in my heart. When we first came to New Albany it was about 70 percent vacant in the downtown area," said Wilson.

Since becoming a Main Street community in 1996 New Albany has grown tremendously.

"It just really shows you what can happen when a community really takes over its own destiny," said Wilson.

Duke says hosting a state-wide conference not only gives a boost to the local economy, but it's also great exposure for the city.

"It is the first time that New Albany has hosted a state-wide conference. So, we're bringing people into our town to stay the night and shop in our stores and eat in our local restaurants," said Duke.

Duke says hosting the conference puts the city one step closer to achieving continued growth in the years to come.
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