34th annual Jackson County Business & Industry Expo connecting businesses across the coast

JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) – Connecting businesses across the coast was the goal of Tuesday’s 34th annual Jackson County Business & Industry Expo hosted by the Port of Pascagoula.

A ribbon cutting signaled the start of businesses like Chevron, Mississippi Power, Ingalls, and more coming together to network and promote their products and services.

Keynote Speaker and Port Director Bo Etheridge says this event is important in showing the community the opportunities here on the coast.

“It represents, you know, the impact that we have on the community. It lets the public understand the connections that we have with different industries so that we can trade amongst ourselves,” Etheridge says. “The Port comes in as the gateway. We’re the ones who are bringing in products. May it be in import or export both from international flare and companies that are coming in, to exporting product that is Mississippi based.”

One company in attendance was the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, which has been active on the coast for 35 years.

Director for Donor Relations, Tiffany Bell, says one of their main objectives is making connections with the community.

“So we’ve been active in the community for several years we’ve given over $6 million over the past 10 to 12 years. We love the Jackson community so just being here gives us the opportunity to dive deeper and connect with other community members,” Bell explained. “Communities need to know that we’re here right and we need to know and have the opportunity to connect and hear what their needs are. So for us to be able to come and set up and to talk to people helps us to better serve them.”

Etheridge says the Port is always looking for more growth ideas and that’s why having networking events like this is essential.

He also added they will be doing a hands-on day in a couple of weeks for local schools to show the students the ins and outs of the Port of Pascagoula and become mentors for the next generation.

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