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SBA to Celebrate Mississippi Small Business Persons of the Year, Business Champions, Top Lenders and Top CDCs at 2018 Small Business Week Awards Event

Release Date: 
Monday, March 19, 2018
Contact: (228) 863-4449 x225

JACKSON, MS – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Mississippi District Office  announces that Barbara and Tim Alamsha, owners and founders of Ear Candie Productions, DBA Rock U 2 of Ocean Springs, MS has been named the 2018 SBA Mississippi Small Business Persons of the Year.

Rock U 2 the Academy of Popular Music was opened in May 2011 in downtown Ocean Springs, MS.  Rock U 2 was created and is dedicated to providing a safe, professional and nurturing environment for children and adults to explore and develop their interest and skills in music, dance, theater and film.  The Alamshas’ both have extensive backgrounds in performance arts.  Tim has worked as an entertainment director for both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios.  “It is our pleasure to recognize Mississippi’s Small Business Persons of the Year and Small Business Champion Winners,” said Janita R. Stewart, SBA Mississippi District Director. 

The SBA Mississippi District Office will honor the Small Business Persons of the Year, Small Business Champions, along with our Top Lenders and Top CDCs at an awards ceremony taking place on Thursday, May 3, 2018 in Jackson, MS, during National Small Business Week. 

“On the small business lending front, during federal fiscal year 2017, SBA lending was up slightly in Mississippi over the previous year by about six percent in numbers, significant for small businesses in our state.  We play a vital role in enabling small businesses and entrepreneurs to get the capital they need to start and grow their businesses, create jobs and build communities. This could not have happened without the participation of our host of in and out-of-state bank and non-bank lending partners and we look forward to recognizing our top lenders and top CDCs at the awards ceremony in May,” said Stewart.

Every year, SBA receives nominations from various categories including Small Business Person, Small Business Export, Young Entrepreneur, Generational Family-Owned Business, Minority Business Champion, Women Business Champion, Veterans Business Champion, Home-Based Business Champion, Financial Services Champion, Entrepreneurial Success Award, Small Business Journalist, 8(a) Graduate Award, and Phoenix Awards.


Small Business Persons of the Year
Barbara and Tim Alamsha
Ear Candie Productions, LLC – Rock U 2
Ocean Springs, MS

Generational Family-Owned                                              
Edwin M. Smith
Staffing Solutions
Vicksburg, MS

Financial Services Champion                                             
Ralph K. Hall                                                                        
Community Bank of Mississippi                                              
Brandon, MS

Minority Small Business Champion
Barbara Mayfield-Coatney, PhD
Coatney Consultant’s LLC
Waveland, MS

Veteran Small Business Champion
Terry J. Gales, Sr.
Washington County Veterans Services Office
Greenville, MS

Small Business Journalist
Nell L. Floyd
Freelance Writer
The Clarion-Ledger
Ridgeland, MS

District Office Award
SCORE Mississippi
Jackson, MS


Lender Awards

Community Bank of Mississippi

Live Oak Banking 

Trustmark National Bank


Covington County Bank

First Financial Bank

Central Mississippi Development Company, Inc. 

Three Rivers Local Development Company, Inc.                            

The Bancorp Bank (Wilmington, Delaware)

For more information on the award ceremony and/or to nominate someone for an award, please contact Bridget Johnson-Fells at (228) 863-4449, ext. 225.