By Biz Buzz

Changes in store at Home Chef Market

Home Chef Market is now family owned.

Lizzette Van Osten bought out her business partner last month and is the sole owner of the gourmet grocery business.

Home Chef Market opened last year in Crye-Leike Plaza on North Gloster Street. It has a butcher and emphasizes specialty meat, seafood, cheese, beer, sauces and other food items.

Van Osten said she’s recently added about 10 local vendors, including Isis Gardens, Janet’s Herbs, Native Son, Cherry Creek Orchards, Madris Farms and Memory Orchard.

The store also has monthly cooking classes.

Plus, it now offers free samples every Saturday around lunch.

State renews STEPS job program

Press release from Gov. Haley Barbour:

JACKSON – Gov. Haley Barbour announced today the successful jobs program, Mississippi STEPS: Subsidized Transitional Employment Program and Services, will restart today through Dec. 10.

Employers who want to participate in STEPS 2 must enroll by Sept. 30 in order to take advantage of the full benefits of the program.

This program, known as “STEPS 2,” will aid small businesses in meeting their workforce needs by providing a wage subsidy for new hires.

Administered by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, STEPS 2 will subsidize the wages of a new employee hired by any public hospital, private non-profit or for-profit entity in the state over a four-month period.

The unique program, which is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, begins today. Employers must sign up for the program by Sept. 30.

Tips for your biz’s Facebook page

Good tips from SmallBizTrends (full text with more tips):

Obviously the best way to use your Facebook page will depend on what type of business you’re running and what you’re hoping to get out of your investment there.

However, if you’ve been finding yourself at a total loss for how to use Facebook to connect with your audience, here are few ideas to help get you started.

1. Ask Questions: Ask them questions related to your product or service to get a better understanding of how they’re using it and any problems they may have.

2. Respond to Them: If someone leaves a comment on your Facebook wall, whether it’s to ask a question, to tell you how much they love your product or even to make a demand, respond to them. It not only shows that person that you’re there and you’re listening, but it shows everyone else watching as well, which will encourage more participation and more comments.

3. Highlight Them: To spur engagement, Skittles asks its community to submit photos of themselves every week. Tons of users do and then one photo is picked and chosen as the Skittles “Rainbro of the Week” and used as the brand’s new Facebook profile pic for the next week.

5. Highlight Yourself : Your fans gave you that “like” because they wanted to connect with your brand, to learn more about you and to become part of your community. So allow them to do that by giving them behind-the-scenes access to what you’re doing. Let them see pictures from this year’s company picnic, show off the new office space that you just moved into, highlight key members of your staff, etc.

6. Highlight Others in Your Industry: Take some time to acknowledge the cool things that other people are doing in your industry. Whether it’s a great post from a popular blog, a controversial thread on a related forum or a cool video you stumbled across, share it with your Facebook community and start a conversation around it.

7. Get Your Community to Create Content: Why put the whole burden on you? Ask your customers to share photos and videos of themselves using your product out in the wild.

Romie’s BBQ has new menu
Romie’s BBQ in downtown Tupelo has a new menu.

New menu posted at Biz Buzz blog.

Click here for more at the Biz Buzz blog.

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