TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - On Wednesday, Systems Consultant Associates Project Manager Larry Davis of Jackson Mississippi gave members of the Minority PUL Alliance valuable information about how to seek business from the future Yokohama Tire Plant in West Point.
The local business owners and members of the alliance are attending a monthly meeting where they say the information they get is worth much more to them than the membership fee they pay.
What Davis brought them was how they might benefit as business owners and contractors from an association with the tire plant in West Point.
Davis' consulting firm, along with the Mississippi Development Authority and others, want to make sure that minority contractors of all races are getting a fair opportunity at business contracts.
"We are in the process as we speak, of developing an extensive data base of persons who are ready, willing, capable, available, and interested in working on that project. The time line for construction itself may be October, maybe November," Davis continued.
That was welcome news especially to construction and building contractors in attendance.
It's the kind of information that MPUL seeks to deliver to its members.
"It was some interesting information to find out," said Tupelo contractor Terry Clay. "And I'm glad to know what's going to be going on so I can try to prepare to be in West Point to meet with other contractors, the prime contractors, and see if I can elevate my company to the next level and kind of get in and get some of the work."
But Yokohama Tires was not the only topic on the Alliance's agenda.
There was information from representatives of Three Rivers Planning and Development District concerning credit and business loans while a BancorpSouth representative discussed insurance and bonding.
"This is a great place for entrepreneurs. Not only beginning entrepreneurs but entrepreneurs that have been in the business for decades," said MPUL member Linda Malone.
Daryl Young , a business owner, was in attendance at today's meeting.
He says the credit-worthiness part of the meeting was important for him.
"When I did my business, I went straight to a banker. Now I wish I had done this. Because the interest rates are lower and its better if you come through here," Young added.
The Minority PUL Alliance calls itself that because P-U-L stands for power, unity and leadership.
The group has connections to several high-profile businesses and economic development organizations including the well-known Pontotoc, Union, and Lee Alliance which helped to land the Toyota Plant in Blue Springs.