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Rising from Ruin is an on-going MSNBC.com special report chronicling two coastal Mississippi towns, Bay St. Louis and Waveland, as they rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

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This project is evolving. Our daily dispatches coverage has been retired. Click here to see what happened in the area between mid October and January 1, 2006.

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BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. – As businesses struggle for life in Hancock County, local and national organizations are poised to help.

“We’re trying to find out what you need in the way of goods and services to get your business up and running,” says Tish Williams, executive director of the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber plans to do that via a survey with the help of some Ball State University students. A “huge blitz” starts Monday, Williams says. In addition to soliciting needs, they’ll seek information on the status of local businesses and new locations.

The information will be shared with the U.S. Chamber, which has businesses across the country who specifically want to assist and “adopt” Hancock County businesses, Williams explains.

Current status report? “We have over 100 businesses open now in Hancock County,” says Williams. The Web site www.mscoastbIz.com is chronicling the commerce comeback.

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