Laurel residents had plenty to keep them busy this August! In addition to finishing up the summer vacation season, cheering on several new businesses and their ribbon cutting ceremonies, and getting ready to send kids back to school, many in the City Beautiful had the opportunity to participate in the 40th anniversary National Night Out, First Friday at Stone Town Plaza, and the Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Forum.
The month kicked off on Tuesday, August 1st with the 40th Anniversary of the National Night Out, formerly known as the National Night Out Against Crime, at the Laurel Police Department. The event ran from 5 p.m.to 8 p.m. and featured music, food, and free backpacks for area school children.
The following Friday, August 4th, members of the Jones County Chamber of Commerce were treated to a First Friday Breakfast at Stone Town Plaza. The building that formerly housed the Laurel Leader-Call, reopened in November 2021 as Stone Tax Consulting and Trey’s Playhouse, a sprawling arcade and entertainment venue featuring classic arcade games, pool tables, and party rooms for rent. Owner, and retired IRS agent, Vonette Stone provided guests with tours of the building including the rooftop lounge and party and meeting rooms.
To wrap up the month, the Jones County Chamber of Commerce celebrated all of Jones County’s entrepreneurial women at their annual Women in Business Forum at South Central Place on Thursday, August 24th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This year’s event featured a panel of local business women including Dr. Alicia Walker of Wayne-Sanderson Farms, Jessica McKinnon, PMHNP, owner of Children’s Specialty Clinic, and Alise Matthews, owner of Shug’s Cookie Dough & Candy Bar and Shug’s Boutique. The panel was moderated by Karrie Leggett-Brown of WDAM 7.
The keynote address was delivered by Liza Cirlot Looser, founder and CEO of The Cirlot Agency, a “global brand strategy, public relations, and business development firm.” Her agency has worked with companies such as Textron, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing.