A general contracting enterprise of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians has terminated nearly 50 people for lack of work, officials said.

IKBI, Inc. terminated 47 of its 74-person workforce last week, Joshua Breedlove, chairman of its board of directors, said.

In the Choctaw language, ikbi means to make or construct.

The company specializes in commercial/government construction, complex renovation, property development and electrical subcontracts.

"The tribe has been working through all its businesses and enterprises, evaluating and ensuring profitability and long-term survival," Breedlove said. "It was IKBI's turn on the list to be looked at."

One of the largest issues with the company, he said, was that the overhead was just too great for its staffing level.

"We ended up having to scale back to be a lot more competitive and much easier to manage," Breedlove said.

Some of IKBI, Inc.'s project highlights include the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, the A-3 Rocket Test Stand at NASA/Stennis Space Center and the USCG Sector New Orleans Emergency Operations Center in New Orleans, La.

IKBI has major projects under way in Virginia, New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast.

"Hopefully, we will go out there and get some more business and bring in a lot more money in the future," Breedlove said.

IKBI, Inc. is a general contracting firm that helps government and private sector clients throughout the Southeast with large commercial/industrial, earthwork, and renovation projects.

IKBI not only provides Indian incentives for its prime contractors and governmental clients, but also a state-of-the-art, reliable construction management service, its website said.

The company provides services also in design/build; general contractor; property development and maintenance; and in-house electrical.