Archive for January, 2009

Mississippi Economic Development News 01.19.09

January 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Economic Development News – Week of Jan 19, 2009

After months of speculation, Mayor Jim Ballard announced Thursday that Mississippi Investment Petroleum Co. will be building a third-generation biodiesel refinery at the Port of Aberdeen. The project, to be completed in three phases, is expected to create 32 new jobs and will bring a $12 million capital investment to the region.

Hybrid Plastics, Inc., together with the local Area Development Partnership (ADP) and Mississippi’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), won the 2008 Best Special Event Award for its Advanced Nanomaterials Symposium from the International Economic Development Council.

Turning a Waterway Into an Economic Lifeline – Steel and fuel plants are driving industrial expansion along the South’s Tennessee-Tombigbee.

Businesses interested in trade with countries in the Middle East and North Africa can get information at a foreign markets conference scheduled for Jan. 27 in Jackson.  Josh Bower, with the Mississippi Development Authority, says the seminar will provide an overview of the Middle Eastern and North African markets, trade statistics and export trends. 

Convention Complex opens doors – 20,000 tour downtown center.

Eighteen counties in Mississippi — including Warren, Issaquena, Sharkey and Yazoo — could receive designation as a National Heritage Area and qualify for federal funding to develop regional tourism if the U.S. House of Representatives approves a bill passed by the Senate on Thursday.

The Mississippi Museum of Art is further defining its role as both a conceptual arts venue and a key contributor to Mississippi’s economic development efforts with an astonishing exhibition of the varied and remarkable accomplishments of French Fauvist Raoul Dufy.

The first publication of “The Heartbeat of Mississippi: A newcomers & visitors guide to Kosciusko and Attala County” can now be found in the 12 Mississippi Welcome Centers.  The full-color magazine, a joint project of The Star-Herald and Kosciusko-Attala Development Corporation highlights local points of interest for tourists and provide useful information for those moving to the area.

Well-wishers gathered in the Greater Starkville Development Partnership lobby Thursday afternoon to send off a long-time division head who is headed to work in the private sector.  Arma delaCruz Salazar, the GSDP’s vice president of tourism and retirement development, is bound for the marketing director’s position with University Management Inc., the management company for the Columbus-based EatWithUs Group.

“Things are still very hot and heavy on the (Old Capitol Green) project,” said John Turner, Entergy Mississippi economic development director. “Carlton Brown and Full Spectrum South are still very engaged and proceeding with all of their master planning and the engineering phase. The only holdup at this time is resolving how the public infrastructure required to support this project is going to be paid for.

Tish Williams named the first recipient of the Jody Compretta Person of Passion Award at the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce annual meeting. See photo gallery at:

Register now for the 2009 MEDC Winter Conference.

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council, Inc. (MEDC)
P. O. Box 3721 . Jackson . MS . 39207 . 601-352-1909 .
2009 Winter Conference . Feb. 4-6 . Hilton . Jackson
2009 Summer Conference . July 22-24 . Beau Rivage . Biloxi


Mississippi Economic Development News 01.12.09

January 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Mississippi Economic Development News – Week of Jan 12, 2009


“It was a very positive meeting,” said Randy Meador, vice president of Neel-Schaffer Engineers and Planners, who is serving as consulting engineer and planner for the city of Laurel, and as spokesman of the group which met at the Jones County Economic Development Association (EDA) Friday. “We accomplished a lot, but did not get into specifics.”


Entergy has put on hold its applications to license two new nuclear power plants, including a proposed $5 billion facility in Port Gibson, after ending negotiations with a company to design the facilities.


East Mississippi Business Development Corporation President Wade Jones agrees, adding that residents should consider the recession from a global perspective, not just from jobs lost and closings.

The Mississippi Renaissance Garden Foundation’s December 2008 “Bringing Back the Beauty Award” was presented to Moss Point’s Celebration! Committee for its work in providing beautification, community spirit, community cooperation and civic pride.  The Celebrations! committee. Its purpose, according to Linda Holden, Moss Point’s Economic Development consultant and coordinator of the Celebrations! committee, is part of an economic-development strategy that includes are promoting tourism and giving Moss Point an identity through fun-filled programs, and expressing that identity in a unique manner.

Looking forward, looking back: (Columbus) leaders ponder year to come…

Some southern states — Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Tennessee — formally regard the mailbox economy as a form of economic development and are actively recruiting the boomers, particularly to smaller towns.

Efforts are under way in Northeast Mississippi to provide free tuition at the community colleges for new high school graduates. Lewis Whitfield, senior vice president with the Lee County-based CREATE Foundation and a chief proponent of the concept, said the free tuition is being provided in 18 of 31 school districts in Northeast Mississippi, beginning with the high school Class of 2009.

The Brookhaven board of aldermen voted on a list of their top 10 priorities last year, and five of the proposed priorities received a unanimous vote. The top five priorities garnering unanimous votes were economic development, downtown revitalization, systematically replacing equipment, continued paving and tending to infrastructure needs.

Greater Starkville Development Partnership President and Chief Executive Officer Jon Maynard was pleased at Starkville’s economic situation over the past year and hopes to continue the trend in 2009.

DeSoto County Supervisors allocated $150,000 to the DeSoto County Economic Development Council for the hiring of a greenways coordinator and establishment of a Northwest Mississippi Land Trust.

“Several of our nongaming businesses are hiring,” said John Hendrix, the tribe’s director of economic development. “We’re hoping the nongaming (operations) can pick up some of those people.”  The tribe operates 14 businesses, five of which are tied to gaming. One is the tribe’s commercial laundry service.

Dennis P. Lockhart, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, will be the keynote speaker during the annual Economic Outlook for South Mississippi conference on Jan. 15 at the University of Southern Mississippi.

More than 2,000 runners lined up early last Saturday for the Second Annual Mississippi Blues Marathon. This year’s runners broke time records and made some local business owners very happy. 

Register now for the 2009 Winter Conference February 4-6 at the Hilton in Jackson. Show your support for the economic developers and chamber of commerce executives. Become a sponsor today! or 601-352-1909

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council, Inc. (MEDC)
P. O. Box 3721 . Jackson . MS . 39207 . 601-352-1909 .
2009 Winter Conference . Feb. 4-6 . Hilton . Jackson
2009 Summer Conference . July 22-24 . Beau Rivage . Biloxi

Mississippi Economic Development News 01.05.09

January 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Mississippi Economic Development News – January 5, 2009


A proposal to help transform Mississippi communities into entertainment meccas creating scores of jobs and increasing tourism has the support of lawmakers and local economic development leaders.


After nearly two years of cutting red tape and extensive lobbying, ground is scheduled to be broken next month on a new hospital in Kemper County which is expected to create nearly 100 jobs. Brian Henson, executive director of the Kemper County Economic Development Authority, said the county is …


Three furniture manufacturers received Foreign-Trade Zone manufacturing authority, which enables each company to save more than $1 million each year primarily through the elimination of a tariff. More importantly, nearly 1,000 jobs could be saved by the move. The state’s furniture industry has lost about 1,500 jobs this year alone.


Counties in Mississippi are being urged to join a list of 427 cities nationwide lining up to request billions in federal dollars expected to be offered in the Obama administration’s plan to jump-start the economy.


About 25 local business and industry representatives and city and county officials attended a program on economic development at the Pontotoc County Chamber of Commerce last week. Chandler Russ, director of Existing Industry & Business Division, Mississippi Development Authority, presented pointers on retaining existing businesses and

industries during a time when new firms are not likely to be relocating in the current economic slowdown.


For the West Point-Clay County Growth Alliance, the beginning of 2009 will be a time of transition. Jan. 5 is the effective start date for new president Jeff Rowell — formerly the executive director of the Natchez-Adams Economic Development Authority. Rowell, will replace Tim Climer, who has joined his family in Batesville.


Anatalio Ubalde, co-founder and CEO of GIS Planning, an economic development Internet strategy company, gave an enthusiastic presentation to the business community at the Delta Economic Development Center of Washington County’s first Holiday Gala. Ubalde also co-founded <>, a company that has

developed a comprehensive search engine that will be used by the Delta EDC to attract businesses to the area via the Internet. It will show prospecting businesses our population demographics, spending habits and available real estate properties, along with images of the area.


(Clinton’s) director of community development has only been on the job a month, but he’s already facing the challenge of helping local leaders revise the city’s zoning plan.


This will be a year of rebirth and reconstruction in Hancock County, with the historic courthouse poised to reopen and more than a dozen more projects expected to either break ground before the end of the first decade of this century.  “Construction, construction, construction,” County Administrator Tim Kellar said Tuesday. “This year will be like no other in the history of

Hancock County.”


“With lower auto sales not only locally but nationally, we’re seeing it reflected in sales tax,” (Brookhaven Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Cliff) Brumfield said. “But our sales in recent weeks have been much better and as the auto industry offers more and more incentives which make this the best time ever to buy a new automobile, we’ll see these numbers increase, especially with income tax due in upcoming weeks.” 

May you have a successful and prosperous 2009!