Area natives hope to put local cities, businesses online

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; The timing was right for father and son Bill and William Atkins to bring their Internet services business to Natchez.

Having developed the business in Baton Rouge both men wanted to work and live in Natchez. As the city braced for the closing of International Paper and a loss of hundreds of jobs, the Atkins men began to see a need they could fill.

Helping Natchez businesses promote themselves through Web sites and proficient use of the Internet is the challenge they seek.

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&uot;We did well in Baton Rouge,&uot; the elder Atkins said. &uot;But this is where we want to be, and we want to help Natchez in light of what is happening with IP.&uot;

Where to start? William Atkins said Miss-Lou Internet Services will launch an important Web site by late summer &045;

The site will offer free listings for businesses as well as all the information about restaurants, bed-and-breakfast establishments, entertainment and events.

&uot;We would like to get everybody working together to create the best Web site Natchez can have,&uot; William Atkins said. &uot;This can help to push Natchez forward.&uot;

Web sites are only one facet of the services offered by Miss-Lou Internet. And with an association with Red Stick Internet Services in Baton Rouge, the company can offer comprehensive consultations and systems designing.

William Atkins fell into the computer world because of a natural inclination. When he left the U.S. Army in 1996, he began to look for direction and found it from some advice his father gave him.

&uot;I started going to schools all over the South, and I have had many kinds of courses,&uot; he said. He found he had a talent for Web design but also for developing systems that would help individuals and businesses &uot;go on line and manage anything they want to do.&uot;

An efficient use of the Internet is a plus for any business, and the Atkins men work with all sizes of businesses, from the small mom-and-pop types to the large corporations.

Already, they have done work for the State of Louisiana, several law enforcement agencies in Louisiana, Lamar Outdoors and many others.

Their business will not be confined to the Natchez area but will continue to extend worldwide.

What’s more, with several dozen Web site templates William Atkins has designed, the company has that important technology to market to businesses or individuals who want to create their own sites.

As a kind of introductory gesture to Natchez businesses, Miss-Lou Internet Services is working with the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce on a plan that will offer consultation to all Chamber members.

&uot;We’ll provide a full-fledged e-commerce Web site to all members of the Chamber, cutting edge technology, for $25 a month,&uot; William said. &uot;This will put our businesses out there all over the world.&uot;