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Economic Development News Week of November 16, 2009

November 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Mississippi lawmakers Senator Thad Cochran and Senator Roger Wicker are seeking a two-year extension of the Gulf Opportunity Zone (GO Zone) bonus depreciation tax incentive.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/11/lawmakers-look-to-extend-go-zone/ 

John C. Stennis Space Center now has a technology park that the federal city hopes will attract new companies.
http://www.picayuneitem.com/local/local_story_317110007.html

Mississippi Power Co. has received the first level of regulatory approval in its effort to build a new coal-powered generating plant in the east-central part of the state.
http://tinyurl.com/ydj2fpy    

Should Mobile regain an aircraft assembly contract, about 7,000 jobs would be created within 100 miles of the city, representing a major business opportunity Jackson County has long said it hopes to tap into.
http://www.gulflive.com/news/mississippipress/news.ssf?/base/news/1258110912211100.xml&coll=5

The Jackson County Economic Development Foundation used last week’s annual investors’ meeting to update progress of two major projects and rally support for another that could greatly affect our area.   In the middle of a national recession, the reports were particularly encouraging.
http://tinyurl.com/yza3s79

Mississippi was spared the full wrath of Tropical Storm Ida, but the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency reports there were damages.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/11/weakened-ida-still-caused-damage/

Jay Moon has been elected secretary/treasurer of the International Economic Development Council board of directors, serving a one-year term. He is president and CEO of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association. He previously served as deputy director and director for international development with MDA.

Officials in north Mississippi’s DeSoto County say they’re optimistic about growth because of a recent increase in the number of building permits.
http://tinyurl.com/yh75bkf

The effect on customers wasn’t clear, but Entergy Mississippi executives testified Thursday that increasing the output capacity at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station — making it the nation’s largest single reactor — is the least expensive way to meet regional electricity demand.
http://www.vicksburgpost.com/articles/2009/10/30/news/doc4aeb2137d473a981667897.txt

The Mississippi Minority Business Alliance (MMBA) honored Entergy Mississippi Inc. with the Flame Award at the organization’s ninth-annual Awards Gala. The Flame Award is given in recognition of and appreciation for exceptional support of minority business efforts in Mississippi.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/11/entergy-takes-home-blue-flame/

Glenn McCullough of Tupelo, who chairs the organization, says if the state wants more jobs, Mississippi must first expand its energy infrastructure.
http://www.mpbonline.org/news/story/fossil-fuels-and-renewable-energy-mississippi-grid-expansion

During Friday’s meeting of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors, Board President and District 1 Supervisor Harry Sanders presented a plan to fund ongoing and proposed projects in the county, without increasing taxes.
http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=3748

A development in the works along I-20 aims to bring something besides the usual retail to the growing area.  Dirt work has begun on Vantage Pointe at Riverwind, to be built on 25 acres along I-20 near Pearson Road.
http://tinyurl.com/yz7qrfe  

Each year, Southern Growth Policies Board starts a conversation in the South on a particular issue related to economic development. This year, Southern Growth would like your help in discussing how communities can respond to current economic challenges — ranging from job losses to home foreclosures to government cutbacks — while at the same time positioning themselves for success in the future.
http://www.southern.org/forums/forums.html

MEDC Member-to-Member Seminar Series
Registration deadline Dec. 3

On December 8, MEDC continues its Member-to-Member Seminar Series in Jackson with “EXISTING INDUSTRY & BUSINESS – A FRESH APPROACH” with Chandler Russ, Director of the Existing Industry & Business Division at the Mississippi Development Authority.  Russ will talk about the EIB Division’s programs and new items they have or may be proposing.  11:30 to 1:00 (lunch included) . $30 registration (advance registration required) . www.medc.msBring a friend or business associate!
_________________________

MEDC Scholarship Application Period Open
MEDC is now taking applications for scholarships for 2010 courses – Attend national professional development courses (EDI, CDI, IOM and New South) in 2010 and let MEDC pay your tuition.  Apply now for your scholarship – go to www.medc.ms and click on Professional Development for an application – funded by MEDC, MDA, Mississippi Power Company and Tennessee Valley Authority. Application deadline is November 30.

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC)
P. O. Box 3721, Jackson, MS  39207
www.medc.ms 
MEDC 2010 Winter Conference . February 3-5 . Hilton . Jackson
MEDC 2010 Summer Conference . July 21-23 . Beau Rivage . Biloxi

MEDC is Mississippi’s professional association of economic development and chamber of commerce professionals. 

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Economic Development News Week of November 9, 2009

November 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Vitro America, which makes and distributes architectural glass and aluminum products, is expanding its Grenada plant, adding 20 jobs to the 100-employee work force.
http://tinyurl.com/yazjjnq

Entergy and Claiborne County leaders have launched an economic development plan aimed at maximizing the county’s resources to create new revenue streams. The plan establishes an economic development organization called Claiborne Works! to lure new businesses, expand existing businesses and boost tourism.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/11/entergy-county-form-claiborne-works/

But as important as any criterion is transportation.  Mississippi’s location provides easy access to most U.S. metropolitan areas, translating into easy access to many major business markets.
http://www.worldtrademag.com/Articles/Feature_Article/BNP_GUID_9-5-2006_A_10000000000000695569

Craig Ray, director of the Mississippi Development Authority’s (MDA’s) Tourism Division, announced today his resignation to take place at year end and his plans to pursue new opportunities in the industry.
http://www.mississippi.org/index.php?id=747

Six companies that list Mississippi as part of their service areas have been tapped to receive a combined $320 million in new-market tax credits toward real estate or business developments in low-income areas.
http://tinyurl.com/yeddrpn

The Mississippi Development Authority’s (MDA’s) Energy Division is one of several partners in the creation of a Southern Solar Energy Training Network in the Southeast.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/11/mda-joins-energy-training-network/

Southwest Mississippi Partnership President Cliff Brumfield on Monday invited Lincoln County supervisors to the Southwest Mississippi Economic Development Industrial Recruitment Training seminar.
http://tinyurl.com/y88rcvt

Fitch Ratings assigns a short-term rating of ‘F1+’ to the State of Mississippi’s $21.9 million taxable general obligation (GO) notes, series 2009B and $40.3 million GO notes, series 2009C.
http://www.pr-inside.com/fitch-rates-mississippi-s-62mm-go-r1563102.htm

“This is the type of development that could further develop DeSoto Commons,” DeSoto County Economic Development Council President and CEO Jim Flanagan told supervisors .  
http://www.desototimes.com/articles/2009/11/04/news/doc4af223d00f528697859564.txt
City and [Neshoba] county leaders are asking the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University to help create a comprehensive economic development plan.
http://www.neshobademocrat.com/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=297&ArticleID=19822

A Denver company has purchased 12 natural gas pipelines and assets valued at approximately $151 million for systems primarily located in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee.
http://tinyurl.com/yc3nf6o

Here’s a news flash… (from Washington State news) …South Carolina, along with several other southern states (most notably Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, and Mississippi) have been patiently waiting for this day. All have trained their workers diligently; refined and streamlined their permitting processes so it only takes weeks, or at most months, to permit a major manufacturing facility — not multiple years and millions of dollars of environmental “process.” They’ve tailored their tax structures . . . 
http://kpbj.com/opinions/the_last_word/2009-11-03/color_boeing_gone_gone_gone

BlueFire Ethanol Fuels Inc. has received a $3.8-million reimbursement from the Department of Energy (DOE) to be used for pre-construction activities for its second planned biorefinery, which will be located in Fulton in Northeast Mississippi.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/11/doe-reimburses-bluefire-ethanol/

More than three dozen thinkers from across the South will gather this weekend for a two-day conference to develop an “Agenda for a Better South” that seeks to inspire Southern leaders to move the region forward. (These thinkers include MEDC member Phil Hardwick.)
http://www.bettersouth.org/pdfs/09.1104.conferencerelease.pdf

A Brief Overview of the Auto Industry’s Recent Troubles, and How it Matters to Economic Developers
http://www.iedconline.org/EDNow/110909/Auto_Task_Force.html

Construction on the 12-mile roadway that would link I-55 in downtown Jackson to Mississippi 475/Airport Road in Rankin County near Jackson-Evers International Airport had been slated for a 2010 start.
http://tinyurl.com/ygakewn

“The Delta has so many wonderful things, so many things that are unique to this region,” Barton says. Getting the people of the region to celebrate those things — their abundant natural resources, sense of community and rich history and culture — is the challenge.  Mosby says “We are sitting on an untapped gold mine, and I can’t get anybody to buy a pick.”
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/nov/08/bluer-blues-grim-figures-tell-of-region-on-the/
Join the MEDC group on LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=2323556 (members only)
_____________________________________

MEDC Regional Chamber Workshop Series
On November 17 the MEDC Regional Chamber Workshop Series kicks off its 2009-2010 season.  “CONNECTING WITH YOUR MEMBERS” will be held at the in Newton from 8:30 to 3:00, Tuesday, November 17. 

Speakers include Shane Moody, CEO of the Destin Area Chamber, Beth Stevens, Executive Director or the Greenwood-Leflore Chamber, and Chance McDavid, of the MSU MSCAT team.  Topics include membership retention, membership sales, non-dues revenue, benefits of membership, boosting your membership using social media, and MSU’s First Impressions Program.  Registration costs are very low – only $25 for MEDC members and $40 for non-members. 


More information and registration is at www.medc.ms.

Members: Please tell others about this valuable training for Chamber staff and volunteers!
_________________________

MEDC Member-to-Member Seminar Series
Registration deadline Dec. 3

On December 8, MEDC continues its Member-to-Member Seminar Series in Jackson with “EXISTING INDUSTRY & BUSINESS – A FRESH APPROACH” with Chandler Russ, Director of the Existing Industry & Business Division at the Mississippi Development Authority.  Russ will talk about the EIB Division’s programs and new items they have or may be proposing.  11:30 to 1:00 (lunch included) . $30 registration (advance registration required) . www.medc.msBring a friend or business associate!
_________________________

MEDC Scholarship Application Period Open
MEDC is now taking applications for scholarships for 2010 courses – Attend national professional development courses (EDI, CDI, IOM and New South) in 2010 and let MEDC pay your tuition.  Apply now for your scholarship – go to www.medc.ms and click on Professional Development for an application – funded by MEDC, MDA, Mississippi Power Company and Tennessee Valley Authority. Application deadline is November 30.

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC)
P. O. Box 3721, Jackson, MS  39207
www.medc.ms 
MEDC 2010 Winter Conference . February 3-5 . Hilton . Jackson
MEDC 2010 Summer Conference . July 21-23 . Beau Rivage . Biloxi

MEDC is Mississippi’s professional association of economic development and chamber of commerce professionals. 

Economic Development News Week of November 2, 2009

November 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Jackson, Mississippi ranks eleventh in Business Week’s Forty Strongest U. S. Metro Economies.
http://images.businessweek.com/ss/09/10/1022_40_strongest_us_metro_economies/12.htm

Officials with CE-Bio, LLC, have unveiled plans to locate a nutritional supplements manufacturing facility in a 57,000-square-foot plant at the Metro Industrial Park in Olive Branch.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/10/ce-bio-moving-to-larger-facility/

Start-up company Meridian Furniture held a ribbon cutting ceremony at recently renovated facilities in Iuka.  The company will initially employ 75 people, with as many as 150 jobs expected to be created as they expand.
http://tinyurl.com/ycl3glq

G&G Steel recently completed a $950,000 expansion that is expected to increase employment at the company from its current 30 to about 140 employees.
http://tinyurl.com/y8p5qx3

A financial hitch has delayed legislative action for a company that plans to build a $300 million factory in the Mississippi Delta, but lawmakers say they still expect the project to come through.
http://tinyurl.com/y8dmxh7

Leaders of the largely rural Appalachian rural belt that runs from southern New York to northern Mississippi are seeking ways to use alternative energy initiatives to spark the 13-state region’s long-sluggish economy.
http://tinyurl.com/y9v9fcn

Foreign firms flock to south Mississippi.  At least 18 companies have ties to foreign shores. They include some of the most recognizable names in the world, such as the United Kingdom’s Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems and Italy’s Finmecanica.
http://tinyurl.com/y98xnk7

After sitting gutted and empty for years, an historic, pioneering department store is getting new life as a luxury corporate apartment building in Vicksburg.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/11/the-valley-gets-new-life/

Whit Hughes, deputy director of the Mississippi Development Authority, said a regional mindset for economic growth makes sense, especially when wooing foreign investors.  “When the economy does improve, they’ll be looking for low-cost, high quality options such as our states,” he said.
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2009/oct/30/auto-execs-warm-hands-around-vw/?business

The Alliance, made up of business leaders, economic development officials and government officials, hopes the aerospace industry’s already significant presence in the Gulf South region will persuade the Department of Defense to award Northrop Grumman the task of replenishing the Air Force’s fleet of refueling planes.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/10/states-join-forces-to-land-kc-45/

Lyn Arnold, executive director of the Tunica County Chamber of Commerce, says Tunica’s efforts to attract more manufacturers are continuing to move forward.
http://tinyurl.com/yaypbnt

Sandy Holifield, who handles commercial development for the Jones County Economic Development Authority, said Wednesday that officials are “real excited” about the openings.
http://www.leadercall.com/local/local_story_302111101.html

The Stone County Economic Development Partnership (SCEDP) has helped Stone County become among the first counties in the state to take part in the Mississippi Development Authority’s (MDA’s) asset mapping project. Asset mapping identifies, categorizes and quantifies a community’s assets.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/10/county-puts-assets-on-the-map/

Community Development Foundation President David Rumbarger of Tupelo Miss., shows off one of the Apple Macbooks, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009, that will be given to every student from 6-12 grades starting next year. The program is part of a partnership between the Tupelo Public Schools District and Apple.
http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20091027/NEWS/91027035/1263/rss

Three multimillion-dollar projects planned for the Northside (Jackson) have been temporarily put on hiatus as developers weather the economic storm and wait for contracts to be finalized.
http://tinyurl.com/yajb8vk

Several Web sites serve up a wealth of information about home-based businesses, from different types of businesses to tax considerations and avoiding work-at-home schemes.
http://www.sunherald.com/383/story/1699004.html

We agree with assessments that suggest the deepest part of the recession may be past, but as Community Development Foundation President David Rumbarger said last week, “We don’t know how steep the climb is on this side of the valley.”
http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/3596405#

Congress has provided $25 million for engineering and other preparations for storing some the nation’s petroleum reserves in the Richton Salt Domes.
http://tinyurl.com/y9s85gy

The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, featuring some of the top golfers on the Champions Tour, will be played at Fallen Oak Golf Course on April 28-May 2, 2010.
http://www.sunherald.com/sports/story/1715893.html

An Arkansas company expects to complete by mid-December its acquisition of Greenwood’s PYCO oil mill.
http://tinyurl.com/y9fep9r

The Mississippi Manufacturers Association and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Mississippi present “Profit 101” and “Sales Development” Wednesday, Nov. 11, to help manufacturers improve their businesses.
http://www.mma-web.org/UserFiles/File/Seminars/MEP%20Sales-Profit.pdf 

Join the MEDC group on LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=2323556 (members only)

Register now for the Nov. 17 MEDC Regional Chamber Workshop Series — in Newton featuring Shane Moody of the Destin Area Chamber (back by popular demand).

Attend national professional development courses (EDI, CDI, IOM and New South) in 2010 and let MEDC pay your tuition.  Apply now for your scholarship – www.medc.ms – Professional Development – funded by MEDC, MDA, Mississippi Power Company and Tennessee Valley Authority.

Register now for the Dec. 8 Member-to-Member Seminar in Jackson featuring Chandler Russ, Director of the Existing Industry and Business Division at MDA.

Go to www.medc.ms for registration and scholarship information.

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC)
P. O. Box 3721, Jackson, MS  39207
www.medc.ms 
MEDC 2010 Winter Conference . February 3-5 . Hilton . Jackson
MEDC 2010 Summer Conference . July 21-23 . Beau Rivage . Biloxi

MEDC is Mississippi’s professional association of economic development and chamber of commerce professionals. 

Economic Development News Week of October 26, 2009

November 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Governors from two states will make a major aerospace announcement Monday that will impact the Gulf Coast Corridor — an area from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, through Alabama and into Northwest Florida along I-10.  Barbour will appear via satellite.
http://www.northescambia.com/?p=11747

The governors of Alabama and Mississippi plan to try to rally support for a plan to turn a four-state region along the Gulf of Mexico into an Aerospace Alliance.
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/florida/AP/story/1298412.html

The Mississippi Delta soon could be home to a “very sophisticated, advanced manufacturing” operation that would create 500 jobs in five years, Gov. Haley Barbour said Wednesday.
http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20091022/NEWS/910220363/-1/nletter01/Gov.-touts–300M-manufacturing-plant-for-Delta?source=nletter-news

NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center has become the first site to earn project ready certification in an industrial site program formalized by Mississippi Power Co.’s economic development department.
http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20091019/NEWS/91019020/-1/Nletter03/Stennis-center-earns-certification?source=nletter-news

State lawmakers may be gearing up in the coming days for another special session – this one dealing with an economic development project in north Mississippi.
http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20091021/NEWS/910210379/-1/nletter01/Special-session-possible?source=nletter-news

Reed’s Metals Inc., a growing metal manufacturing plant on U.S. 84, is undergoing its third expansion project in as many years and will soon pull in more workers, produce more metal and pour more income into Lincoln County.
http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20091021/BIZ/910210352/-1/nletter01/Metal-firm-expands-despite-economy?source=nletter-news

Northrop Grumman plans to begin conducting test flights of its small, unmanned Navy helicopter Fire Scout in the skies over Jackson County within the first few months of next year.  Along with flight testing comes maintenance. The company plans to add 10 new jobs for flight testing and eight to 10 through the maintenance support contract, company officials said Friday. Three have already been filled.
http://www.sunherald.com/pageone/story/1696394.html?story_link=email_msg


Mississippi had the eighth lowest rate of job losses in the construction industry, an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America 
http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20091021/BIZ/91021022/-1/Nletter03/Miss.-among-lowest-in-construction-job-loss?source=nletter-news 

Mississippi saw the number of people working climb in September as the state's unemployment rate slipped in every county.  The state's unemployment rate fell to 8.8 percent in September down from 9.7 percent in August, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20091022/BIZ/910220349/-1/nletter01/Jobs-outlook-begins-to-brighten-in-Mississippi?source=nletter-news 

At the Biomass Summit this week in Washington, people were talking about Mississippi, said Sumesh Arora, director of Strategic Biomass Solutions (SBS) for the Mississippi Technology Alliance.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/10/mississippi-the-buzz-at-biomass-summit/ 

Economic developers across Mississippi are using a new method to poll businesses and industries to find out their needs and develop better policies to assist their growth.  The 27-question survey was developed by MDA with feedback from economic developers statewide in an effort to expand the reach of the organization's Business Retention and Expansion Program.
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20379338&BRD=1377&PAG=461&dept_id=172922&rfi=6 

The U.S. Department of Labor has unveiled $447 million in funding allocations for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for states to assist workers who lose their jobs due to outsourcing and foreign trade.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/10/stimulus-bumps-up-taa-funding/  

The land is available. The first tenants are established. Political support is present at the local and state levels. Bring on the jobs. The Columbus-Lowndes Development Link revealed its master plan today for the GTR Global Industrial Aerospace Park . . .
http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=3385 
http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=3391 
http://www.cldlink.org/gtr/ - Presentation

Vitech Systems Group, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise software to group benefit and public pension funds, announced today the opening of a new regional office in Ridgeland, Mississippi.
http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS152971+20-Oct-2009+PRN20091020

Even with an economic revival, many U.S. jobs lost during the recession may be gone forever and a weak employment market could linger for years.
http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20091020/BIZ/910200362/-1/nletter01/After-recession-eases–higher-jobless-rates-may-be-new-norm?source=nletter-news

Five Mississippi ports on the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway feel their assets are being underutilized, and they have formed GROWPORTS in an effort to change that.
http://msbusiness.com/blog/2009/10/ports-pooling-marketing-efforts-with-growports/

The Mississippi World Trade Center 2009 Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon will be held 11:30 to 1:00 on Thursday, November 12.  Contact 601-353-0909 or aatkins@mswtc.org

MEDC Calendar:
November 17 – MEDC Regional Chamber Workshop, Newton, MS “Connecting With Your Members”- www.medc.ms
December 8 – MEDC Member-to-Member Seminar, Jackson, MS “Existing Industry & Business – A Fresh Approach” with Chandler Russ, Director, EIB Division, MDA

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC)
P. O. Box 3721, Jackson, MS  39207
www.medc.ms  
MEDC 2010 Winter Conference . February 3-5 . Hilton . Jackson
MEDC 2010 Summer Conference . July 21-23 . Beau Rivage . Biloxi

MEDC is Mississippi’s professional association of economic development and chamber of commerce professionals.