Archive for April, 2009

Mississippi Economic Development News – April 27, 2009

April 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Southwest Mississippi Unveils Regional Economic Development Plan  


Shipbuilding academy planned


Mississippi Municipal League considers Jackson tax a test case


Mississippi’s resources can produce energy for the future (GLENN MCCULLOUGH JR column) 


Waynesboro to Lucedale railroad line proposed


Without a deal with Mississippi State University, the CottonMill Marketplace’s developers may not be able to keep their commitments to city, county and state officials and would need to reformulate its scope, one of the project’s principal developers says.


Prepare for next business cycle, says TVA official


ARC to fund study on C&G corridor


The Southern High Speed Rail Commission is trying to convince cities throughout the Southeast to take advantage of a golden opportunity 


The next best state was Mississippi who posted a 12% gain (in international exports). Only four states and one territory showed increases with all other states experiencing decreases for the first two months of 2009.


Many area retailers remain in the dark about the state’s first sales tax-free weekend and the Mississippi State Tax Commission is launching a campaign to inform retailers.


Kosciusko-Attala Development Corporation CEO Steve Zea and Steve Russell with North Central Planning Development District discussed plans for the Kosciusko Attala Technology and Training Center


Joey Deason, deputy director of the Mississippi Development Authority, told attendees that MDA will receive roughly $158 million


IEDC to host Building Resilient Economies, A Workshop on Accessing Funding and Resources for Gulf Coast Economic Recovery (free for attendees from Mississippi and Louisiana) in partnership with the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED) and the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA). June 10, New Orleans, LA IEDC has developed a one-day workshop to connect economic development practitioners, chamber representatives and their public officials with the various federal and state program representatives, foundations and experts to provide critical information on how communities can access funds for long-term recovery and use them effectively. This free workshop is designed to be interactive and provide tools and techniques to help communities access available economic development resources in these challenging times. 

Other special invitations that are on the MEDC calendar:

May 4-5 – Quality of Life Summit “The Power of a Beautiful Place” Area Development Partnership, Hattiesburg

May 5-6 – Business & Procurement Opportunities Conference
MDA & MS Association of Governmental Purchasing/Property Agents, Jackson, MS

May 7 – Doing Business in Chile – U. S. Commercial Service, Jackson, MS

May 14 – Export University – Export 101 – Introduction to Exporting,.Mississippi District Export Council, U.S. Commercial Service, Jackson, MS

May 14 – Focus on Furniture – Mississippi State University Franklin Furniture Institute

July 22 – 24 – MEDC Summer Conference, Beau Rivage, Gulfport, MS
Communicate . Educate . Innovate . A Beacon for the Future

Brochure and other information is on the MEDC website. Watch for your brochure in the mail.

August 15 – 16 – SEDC Annual Conference, Point Clear, AL

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


Mississippi Economic Development News – April 20, 2009

April 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Two industries that could help spur growth in Mississippi are defense and aerospace.  In Lowndes County, three such companies will expand in the coming years and will add about 1,000 jobs to that area, says Joe Max Higgins, president and CEO of the Columbus-Lowndes Development Link. Growth has been aided by the regional airport and Columbus Air Force Base, he said.

Barbara Dorr, executive director of Keep Mississippi Beautiful said there is a direct negative correlation between litter and a lack of economic development in cities as well as statewide.

THE NORTHSIDE Sun is seeking more information on a project that some say could ultimately kill an ambitious flood control and economic development plan for the capital city.

East Mississippi Community College representatives were joined by politicians, educators and community leaders at the college’s Golden Triangle campus Wednesday afternoon to send out thanks to local industry… Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Gray Swoope, keynote speaker for the event, encouraged Mississippians to start thinking outside the box, in terms of economic expansion.

The magic words to get a bill passed in the Legislature are “economic development” or “tax reform.” They worked very well in the Senate on Feb. 23…

Noxubee County this week received an “economic boost” from the opening of a large wood products company, according to Brian Wilson, executive director of the Noxubee Economic and Community Development Alliance.

The two businesses are the Viking Range Company, a high-end kitchen equipment manufacturer, and Staplcotn, the world’s largest and oldest cotton cooperative.  These two firms are the new and old South cheek by jowl — a stark contrast between entrepreneurship and an agricultural subsidy system that underwrites white privilege in a region that is predominantly poor and black.

The first Airline Summit was held soon after Hurricane Katrina and the fourth summit this year will give airline executives a look at the progress on the Coast and plans for more development.

The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) Division of Tourism today announces that 10 courses in the state have been voted to Golf Digest magazine’s biennial ranking of “America’s Greatest Courses State by State 2009-10.”

“Once they tried to charge me as much as $1300 for a ticket to Atlanta,” said Leland Speed, former director of the Mississippi Development Authority.

Lockheed Martin is in the preliminary phase of researching available airport locations that have hanger accommodations adequate for a C-5 aircraft. 

Deadline for MEDC Community Economic Development Awards nominations – 5:00 PM, Friday, April 24. Have your 2008 economic development project recognized and be eligible to receive a $5,000 marketing match grant.

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council, Inc. (MEDC)
601-352-1909 . . 
MEDC Summer Conference . July 22-24 . Beau Rivage . Biloxi
“Communicate . Educate . Innovate . A Beacon for the Future”



Mississippi Economic Development News – April 13, 2009

April 13, 2009 Leave a comment

In the midst of economic turmoil, federal bailouts, and budget deficits in more than 40 states, a new report from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) offers a roadmap to recovery based on economic performance trends from states over the last 10 years.  Mississippi ranks 19th on Economic  Outlook.


Representatives of architecture and design firms from downtown Jackson to Massachusetts gathered Thursday at the Greater Jackson Partnership offices to learn how they can submit proposals for studying the viability of building a multipurpose arena.


Jennifer Glaze, a staff member for Mississippi State President Mark Keenum, will join the Greater Starkville Development Partnership staff May 1 as its vice president for tourism and retirement development, officials said Wednesday.


Debut Broadcasting Corporation, Inc.(OTC BB: DBTB), a media and entertainment company, today announced it recently executed an agreement with to establish and to promote economic development in the communities Debu t’s radio stations serve, specifically in the Mississippi Delta.


The Senatobia Main Street Partnership is hosting retail expert John Brandon, associate manager for the Existing Industry and Business Division of the Mississippi Development Authority, in a series of two seminars focused on helping small businesses survive and thrive during this slow economy.


In his monthly report to the board, David Vowell, president of the Community Development Partnership, said the youth program would be administered through the Educational Training Institute office on Main Street.   In other economic development news, Vowell said…


Southwest Mississippi Partnership President Cliff Brumfield said the group of 10 counties and their respective government and private business leaders have, through an extensive analysis, identified prospective industry types that would thrive in the area and are making plans to begin recruiting aggressively. The plan calls for a new industry to locate anywhere in the 10-county area in 18 months, he said.


Two agencies with similar goals hope sharing the same space in downtown Jackson will help both further their missions.  Downtown Jackson Partners, which promotes the revitalization of the capital city’s downtown, and Mississippi Main Street Association, which promotes economic development statewide through historic preservation, have moved into the Electric 308 building on Pearl Street.


A new south Mississippi housing program could offer up to $26,000 in grants to help residents purchase homes, organizers announced this week.   MyHome MyCoast, an $80 million program unveiled by the Gulf Coast Renaissance Corp. and the state on Wednesday,


Education officials are trying to get Mississippi high school students ready to hit the competitive job market.  Nearly 270 students participated in the 16th Annual Career Development Conference on Tuesday. Jobs for Mississippi Graduates sponsored the event that helps students develop interviewing skills, critical thinking and public speaking skills.


It is reported that G&G Steel will locate a metal fabrication facility in (Tishomingo County) Mississippi at the Tri State Commerce Park and will initially hire at least 25 workers for the site.



Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council, Inc. (MEDC)
P. O. Box 3721 . Jackson, MS 39207
601-352-1909 . fax-601-352-2061 .  

Member-to-Member Seminar . April 14 . Hattiesburg
MEDC Chamber Workshop . April 16 . Oxford
2009 Summer Conference . July 22-24 . Beau Rivage . Biloxi



Mississippi Economic Development News – April 6, 2009

April 13, 2009 Leave a comment


The second Business After Hours event by the Pontotoc Chamber of Commerce featured a panel comprised of Joseph Geddie, executive director of the North Mississippi Industrial Development Association; Tim Weston, field operations manager for the Tennessee Valley Authority; James Threadgill, vice chairman at BancorpSouth; and Jeremy Martin, the North Mississippi service coordinator for the Secretary of State’s office.



Problems arise as loop closes – The eventual completion of the Tenn. 385 and I-269 loop could create as much chaos as economic opportunity.


During the luncheon, Jay C. Moon, president and CEO of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association, informed business and industry leaders, county officials and college workforce trainers about the present state of manufacturing in Mississippi and the nation.



Governor Haley Barbour is bringing together state agency heads, legislators and local government officials as well as inviting the public to participate in a Mississippi Stimulus Summit on April 16. The summit is scheduled from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. at the Jackson Convention Complex following the annual meeting of the Mississippi Economic Council; no

reservations are necessary.


The city must attract more businesses to speed up recovery from Hurricane Katrina and help it thrive in the future. That was the feeling among candidates for city elections Friday night at a forum held at the University of Southern Mississippi. The forum was sponsored by the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce.


Keynote speaker was Blake Wilson, president and CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council, who offered words of encouragement about the future of the arts in Mississippi, particularly in education.


We have an integration center at our warehouse facility in Southhaven, Mississippi, where we’re able to burn testing, software loading, inserting IP addresses on the switches, though we can also do remote programming of the switches, and various things. When we ship, it’s a solution ready to install, so it cuts down on the implementation time, relieving the partner, and improving their cash flow, since they can now turn their project around quickly.


Sen. Thad Cochran,(R) Mississippi said, “It’s a bold statement and a confident statement about the economic future of our state, the decision to locate this facility here. This facility will be capable of producing up to five million rounds annually, enough to fill most of the Marine Corps 50 caliber requirement.”


The 102-year-old Levee Street Depot — for years expected to house a private transportation museum — could be much more, Mayor Laurence Leyens said Wednesday, suggesting the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, Vicksburg Main Street and Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce also be tenants in the city-owned building.


Mississippi Development Authority officials reported Monday that the Petal School District drives the Friendly City in terms of economic development.


“I am so pleased to see the city and county working together with the Growth Alliance in order to coordinate our efforts to make West Point and Clay County a better place to live and work,” said Growth Alliance Board Chairman Michelle Easterling. “We are making strides, even in the dourest of economic conditions. I believe we all realize that we can

move our community forward if we unite on common principles and objectives.


The brainchild of Bill Adams, TVA’s megasite program has garnered national attention since its unveiling in 2004. Since then, five sites have been sold. These announced projects are expected to eventually create, according to TVA, more than 5,500 direct jobs and represent $5 billion in capital investment. And this does not include ancillary jobs

and investments from related suppliers and service businesses.

Register now for the Member-to-Member Seminar on April 14 in Hattiesburg on “The Port of Gulfport: What the ‘Port of the Future’ Means to the Economic Development of the State” with Don Allee, Executive Director and CEO, MS State Port Authority.

And don’t miss out on the Chamber Workshop in Oxford on April 16 “Putting Your Chamber in Overdrive” which will cover membership retention and recruitment, retail development, ambassador programs and other value-added programs.

Save the date – July 22-24, MEDC Summer Conference, Beau Rivage, Biloxi – details soon.

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council, Inc. (MEDC)
601-352-1909 . .
Member-to-Member Seminar . April 14 . Hattiesburg
MEDC Chamber Workshop . April 16 . Oxford
2009 Summer Conference . July 22-24 . Beau Rivage . Biloxi



Mississippi Economic Development News – March 30, 2009

April 13, 2009 Leave a comment



While some of the nation’s business leaders and communities are hunkering down waiting for the economy to rebound from the worst recession since the 1940s, Meridian and Lauderdale County leaders are actively preparing for the future.


George County Industrial Park certified ‘Project Ready’


Mike Petters, president of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, indicated Thursday night to Jackson County economic development leaders that the change in the country’s administration is more likely to affect the multibillion-dollar defense contractor than the recent economic downturn.


Just a few hours after Gov. Haley Barbour presented Lum Cumbest with the Mississippi Medal of Service in Jackson on Thursday, members of the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation gathered at the Gulf Hills Conference Center for their spring investors’ meeting.  The juxtaposition of the two events was striking.


It was more than a half-century ago that the Oxford-Lafayette County community buzzed with the news: A “stove factory” was coming to town. 

“Most people were very excited about the factory jobs coming here,” said Max Hipp, president of the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation.,0,3406979.story


This is the sixth regular legislative session for Gov. Haley Barbour, and for all of that time the House has given him fits and the Senate has, for the most part, given him what he wanted.  That didn’t change on the eminent domain issue. What did change were the political dynamics.


Robert Rohrlack named new CEO of Tampa Chamber.


Opportunity knocks – even in a recession.


The commercial banking industry isn’t responsible for the current economic woes, Aubrey Patterson Jr., chairman and CEO of BancorpSouth Bank, said Friday.  Patterson was the keynote speaker at the DeSoto County Economic Development Council’s quarterly membership luncheon.


Local residents were briefed on the ongoing efforts of the Mississippi

Main Street Association’s efforts to assess Laurel’s downtown.


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…


Keynote speaker Whit Hughes, deputy director of the Mississippi Development Authority, spoke of the importance of trade show events in difficult times. “We’re doing everything we can to stay strong in this economy,” he said.

It is important that we stay in touch with each other.  Register now for the April 14 MEDC Member-to-Member Seminar in Hattiesburg and for the April 16 Chamber Workshop in Oxford –

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council, Inc. (MEDC)
601-352-1909 . .
Member-to-Member Seminar . April 14 . Hattiesburg
MEDC Chamber Workshop . April 16 . Oxford
2009 Summer Conference . July 22-24 . Beau Rivage . Biloxi