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Local SCORE chapter installed, serves 18 MS counties

New Albany SCORE chapter Eric Thompson, Southeast Region vice-president of SCORE; Denotee Martin, the vice-president of the newly formed chapter; Michael Hale, president of the chapter; and Mary Harris, Mississippi district director for SCORE, are shown at the Tuesday afternoon chapter installation in New Albany.

Fifty-five people met in New Albany Tuesday afternoon, March 28, to participate in the formation of a new SCORE  chapter.

SCORE stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives, and is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The new chapter is established to serve 18 Mississippi counties stretching diagonally across north Mississippi from DeSoto County to Lowndes County.

Its purpose is to provide advice and mentoring to small business entrepreneurs by utilizing the experience of business people who volunteer their time for the program. SCORE provides training for its volunteers.

score, new albany ms

Eric Thompson, SCORE v.p. for the southeastern United States, spoke at the Tuesday meeting.

Eric Thompson, Vice President for the SouthEast Region of SCORE, spoke at the New Albany event. Thompson said the new chapter would become the 321st active chapter nationally. There is one other active chapter in Mississippi. It is located in Jackson. This is the first time a SCORE chapter has been formed in this part of the state.

Mary Harris. the Mississippi district director of SCORE, also spoke at the meeting, as did Mississippi Assistant Secretary of State Jeremy Martin, Union County Board of Supervisors President Dave Kitchens and New Albany Mayor Tim Kent.

Officers for the new chapter are: Michael Hale, president; Denotee Martin, vice-president, Susan Jones, secretary; Jean Ashcraft, assistant secretary; Calrenease Cook, treasurer; and Jim Owen, assistant treasurer.

The chapter installation meeting was followed by a networking hour at The Basement and a dinner at Chow Ciao Restaurant, which was attended by 42 people.

While SCORE is funded by the SBA, it is not directly a part of the federal government.

The SBA is best known for its program of providing subsidized loans to small businesses. The loans are made by banks, with the federal government guaranteeing the banks repayment of up to 90% of the loan amount.

According to the SBA article on Wikipedia, “The primary use of the programs is to make loans for longer repayment periods based in part upon looser underwriting criteria than normal commercial business loans, though these programs can enable owners with bad credit to receive a loan. A business can qualify for the loan even if the yearly payment approximates previous year’s profit. Most banks want annual payment for loans no more than two-thirds (2/3) of prior year’s operating profits. Lower payments, longer terms and loosened criteria allow some businesses to borrow more money than otherwise.”

Linda McMahon, formerly the chief executive officer of the $5-billion World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), was appointed by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the new head of the SBA earlier this year. She was one of very few Trump appointments to sail easily through Senate confirmation.

Trump has made the Small Business Administration the leader of  his program to reduce government regulations on business.

For more information about SCORE, contact Susan Jones, Chapter Secretary, at sfjones29@gmail.com.

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