William Carey University and the Hattiesburg business community recognized a downtown Hub City business for its growth and contributions to the local economy.

The university presented its annual Small Business Leadership Award to The Lucky Rabbit.

“(William Carey University has) been here in downtown since 1906. so, we’re connected literally and historically to downtown. so, any downtown business, we want to support and help as well,” Carey President Ben Burnett said.

The Lucky Rabbit is a large, variety store that opened about 10 years ago.

The award was presented during a luncheon at WCU Wednesday.

“Looking at the other businesses that have received this award 30 years before we received it, it’s just such an honor to be included in that list of prestigious and staple Hattiesburg businesses,” said Abby Thaxton, co-owner of The Lucky Rabbit.

The first Small Business Leadership Award was presented in 1990.

Three WCU business students also received scholarships during the luncheon.

Featured speaker for Wednesday’s luncheon was Noah Harris, a Hattiesburg native and Harvard University graduate who served as that school’s first African-American male student body president.