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How I started my business: Cathy Hayes Tate

After 30-plus years of being employed with a local bank, retirement brought an inspiring opportunity to become an entrepreneur. Children always have been dear and special to my heart, so opening a childcare center quickly became the business of choice for me. It’s a business that requires genuine love and passion for children.

Choosing the right location and building plays an important role in running a successful and thriving company. When seeking a location for Brilliant Childcare and Learning Center, determining the area’s demand for this type of business was critical. Childcare centers are licensed and regulated by the state. However, what gives comfort and peace of mind to working parents is establishing trust, dependability, communication and support. To see the children’s smiling faces and earn the parents’ confidence tilts the scale from stress to, “It’s a beautiful day “at BCLC.”

The past two years of the pandemic required many tough decisions to stay in business. I appreciate and thank my staff, who followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Their dedication and loyalty have allowed us to continue serving the community.

I’ve maintained a successful business by staying organized and keeping a set schedule of events. Allocating time to ensure the business’s affairs and administrative tasks remain up to date is vital. Occasionally, this may require flexibility in when you open and close the business to ensure things stay on track. 

Although running a business can be stressful, the will to succeed and a determination to be a positive influence on a child’s life has kept me focused. 

“Many days, I walk into my center and thank God for making all this possible. To be counted among other women business owners is truly a dream come true.” 

As a female entrepreneur, I hope this encourages others to fulfill their dream of opening their own business. I especially would like to thank my husband, children, daughter-in-law and grandchildren for their love, support and encouragement. 


Cathy Hayes Tate is the director and owner of Brilliant Childcare and Learning Center in Gulfport. You can reach her at (228) 697-1911. 

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