Local leaders say small businesses are incredibly important to the future of the Meridian area.
For that reason, the Montgomery Institute and the Southern Rural Development Association held a "rural entrepreneurship cafe" in Meridian Wednesday.
The goal was to find out what needs to be done to encourage entrepreneurship in the Meridian area.
Alan Barefield of the Southern Rural Development Partnership says cities like Meridian should look at their local ordinances to make sure they encourage entrepreneurship.
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