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Street Talk

WVHS Students Show Interest In Their Future
And In the Future Of Business In Water Valley

Street Talk
By Jessie Gurner

At the recent Career Fair at WVHS, I had the pleasure of speaking to the students on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce about career opportunities in tourism.  

Talking to these students about their future plans was very interesting. The vast majority plan to attend college. Some already had careers in mind, with choices ranging from choreographer to paleontologist to law enforcement. Several of the students said they wanted to stay in Water Valley and go into business.  

Those planning this career path might expect their future job description to look like this: Enjoy the challenge of being your own boss. Feel a sense of pride. Make money. Contribute to your community. Make work more compatible with family. Must be willing to work hard. Work hours are flexible, but many.

Business owners and managers average 52 hours per week. A few never go home, clocking in more than 100 hours per week. About one out of six work less than 40 hours per week. Family members may be willing to work in the business, which is not required but often desirable. Forty percent of business operators employ at least one family member in their business. In 70 percent of small town businesses, family members contribute an average of 25 hours per month of unpaid work.

The 10 most common kinds of small town businesses in Mississippi are, in order of frequency: miscellaneous retail, auto-related, finance (such as insurance businesses, banks, tax preparation businesses), medical firms (for profit hospitals, clinics, dentists, physicians, nursing homes and so on), and contractors. Restaurants, beauty and barber shops and agriculture-related businesses are tied for the next spot, followed by wholesalers and then grocery/convenience stores. Manufacturers did not make the top 10, but were very close.

WVMSA is pleased to welcome two new businesses to Main Street; Habits Discount Tobacco & Beverage at 111 S. Main, 473-050, and Kandy’s Grocery, 119 S. Main, 473-2014.

Keep in mind that April 19 will be Founders Day in Water Valley.  For more information, contact me at the WVMSA office at 473-3796 or by email at

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