Prosperity is key to a community’s health. We must invest in all communities to support working families and the overall health of the residents of South Mississippi.
GULF COAST REGIONAL COLLABORATIVE
Steps has been leading a racial equity project since 2013. We are an ethnically diverse collaborative, our current members include the Mississippi Center for Justice, Boat People SOS, Hijra House and Mary Queen of Vietnam. The primary goal of this project is to increase the economic security of Vietnamese, Latino and African American fisherfolk and small business owners who have been struggling financially since Katrina and then the BP Oil Spill. The GCRC seeks to build resilient communities and prepare for future natural and man-made disasters by organizing Fisherfolk, Small Business Owners and Fish Industry stakeholders into one united voice and provide small business technical assistance.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FINANCIAL INSTITUTION (CDFI)
Steps Coalition is developing a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) – The Steps Coalition Loan Fund (“Loan Fund”) – that will provide a portfolio of loan products to homeowners and small businesses in Mississippi’s six coastal counties including Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, George, Pearl River, and Stone. The loans will be structured to help existing and first-time home buyers, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and minority and women owned business enterprises (MWBE) traverse the hurdles traditionally encountered by residents of low and moderate income (LMI) communities and small businesses looking to start-up or scale-up. The Loan Fund will also provide its customers with technical assistance in various forms including, but not limited to, financial literacy training, housing workshops, business plan development, and cash-flow management.
NET METERING CAMPAIGN
In 2015, Steps joined an effort to ensure net metering policy was approved by the Public Service Commission. Steps convened our partners and developed a plan to collect public comments in support of the rule and helped organized a busload of local residents to attend and give public comment at the hearing. The rule successfully passed.