bill_crump_web.jpgOXFORD, Miss. (AP) — White House business officials have told a gathering in Oxford that the latest package of small business incentives calls for accelerating federal payments to government contractors, streamlining paperwork and making it easier for small firms to get access to loans and tax credits.

Ari Matusiak, the White House Business Council’s executive director, headed up Thursday’s meeting of business owners and government officials.

“The president talks a lot about an economy where everyone does their fair share and where everyone plays by the same rules,” Matusiak said. “There are things we can do to move this economy forward.”

In addition to focusing on education, infrastructure and research, he said, “We can invest in new forms of energy … doing so in a way that unlocks new jobs and opportunities.”

Bill Crump of Viking Range said one reward of entrepreneurship is changing communities.

“A lot of people who started 25 years ago with Viking Range were from families who were on welfare,” he said. “They have bought homes, they sent their children to college, they have 401ks.”

Crump said Viking, which has remained in Greenwood, operates in 80 countries and also takes advantage of government programs.

“There is a program or someone out there who can help you whether you're a doughnut shop owner or president of a 1,000-employee company,” he said.

The event, sponsored by 16 state and federal agencies along with four banks and local economic development agencies, focused on ways that small businesses can get off the ground, expand and solve their problems.

The White House announced the new package on Wednesday.

Photo: Bill Crump