Six Amazing People…
I was blown away. Had my socks knocked off. Really impressed. This week I traveled to Jonestown, MS to help interview local businesspeople who had applied for small grants from BGM to improve their businesses.
If you’re not from the Delta, you may not have met some of the wonderful, creative, and industrious people who live there. This past Wednesday, I was blessed to meet six of them.
Three of us interviewed six business owners who had applied for grants from BGM. I met people who are creative, people who work very hard, and people who have invested a great amount of time and energy into their dreams. They were sharp, smart, and had really good ideas. From us, they were just seeking a little extra capital to expand or improve their businesses.
1 – Agriculture
The first person we interviewed was a former pharmaceutical sales representative that grew up in the Jonestown area. She is a college graduate who had been working in Louisiana when she decided to move back to Jonestown. She has a passion for agriculture and teaching others how to plant, farm, and harvest fresh fruits and vegetables. She has a training program, land set aside, and avenues through which new farmers can get their produce to market. She has already partnered with the Agriculture Department at Alcorn State University as well as local farmers who have expertise in the field of agriculture. She wanted a grant to help with her training efforts as she seeks to introduce more and more people to the agriculture industry.
2 – Hair Salon
The second person was a very sharp lady who has her own salon. She has her cosmetology license, her business is incorporated, and she already has numerous customers. She is creative, sharp, and a very pleasant person. She has good ambition and wants to grow her business. She was seeking a grant to help purchase better equipment such as chairs, a sink, and a dryer or two. The equipment she currently has is adequate, but clearly not of the caliber she needs to grow her business.
3 – Gym
The third person was a young man who graduated from Delta State University and who worked for the university for a number of years to develop a fitness program for their employees, students, and the residents of Cleveland, MS. He has since moved to Clarksdale (next door to Jonestown) where he opened a gym offering exercise classes, personal training, and weightlifting equipment. This man gets it. He knows what he is doing. He has over 100 clients already. In addition, he already has an app where customers sign in, sign up for classes, and pay their monthly fees. His need was for more and better equipment for his gym.
4 – Jewelry
The fourth person was a young lady who is a real go-getter. She has a full-time job, just finished her second degree from Coahoma Community College, and started her own business a year ago. She makes necklaces, bracelets and other types of jewelry that serve as a reminder of people who have passed away. The jewelry has small photos of the loved ones who have died. She has been advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and other forms of social media. She has recently filled orders from California and Texas. She has sold many hundreds of her pieces of jewelry, and her business continues to grow. She needed capital to help build a website and purchase more items so she can have inventory on hand when large orders arrive.
When our team of three left Jonestown on Wednesday, we were beside ourselves. We were genuinely impressed with the people we met and the businesses they already have going. From a Business Grant Fund that several generous donors provided, we are awarding $2,000 for the agriculture business, $2,500 for the salon, $2,500 for the jewelry business, and exercise equipment for the gym. In addition, we are awarding $1,500 for a lady who owns a bait shop and convenience store.
Good things are happening in the Delta! God is providing us with people and opportunities to share His love. We love to help create opportunities for people to better themselves and their families. Yesterday was another important step in that direction.
As you know, all of this work takes a great deal of resources. If you are in a position to give, you can give a gift online HERE or send a check to: But God Ministries, 118 Homestead Drive, Suite D, Madison, MS, 39110.