Archive for December, 2009

Economic Development News Week of December 14, 2009

December 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Great Southern Wood Preserving Inc. is moving at break-neck speed to open a pair of facilities in the heart of Brookhaven and hire 15 to 20 employees by Feb. 1…  “When you have a prospect of that kind of notoriety, that’s the kind of industry we want in Lincoln County,” said Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Cliff Brumfield.

In a letter, Barbour informed the Mississippi Legislature that Severstal repaid a $10 million loan for infrastructure development to the state four years ahead of schedule.

Tim Mood, VP of Economic Development, Electric Power Associations of Mississippi, was awarded the 2009 Rural Economic Development Leadership Award by Awards Chairman Dennis Mingyar.

In terms of estimated number of new jobs created, Harrison County ranks first with 1,774, followed by Tishomingo County (725 jobs) and Adams County (445 jobs).  In 2009, Hinds County led the state in the number of new and expanded facilities announced at 32. Rankin County was second with 18 and Forrest County and Harrison County both had 15.

In the first meeting to discuss the creation of a private funding source for local economic development, the group loosely dubbed, “Natchez Now” met at Regions Bank with a little more than 50 people present.

The White House announced the president’s plans to nominate Marilyn A. Brown for one of two vacant seats on the nine-member Tennessee Valley Authority board.

People wanting to start a business or generate more profit in an existing one can participate in a seminar series the Mississippi State University Extension Service is providing through an entrepreneurial network.

MEDC 2010 Winter Conference . February 3-5 . Hilton . Jackson
“Reinventing Renewing Refocusing During Challenging Times”
Registration is now open – – for registration information.
A block of rooms at the Hilton is being held until January 3, 2010.
Sponsors – sign up now to have your weblink on the MEDC Conference registration info page.

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC)
P. O. Box 3721, Jackson, MS  39207 
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 December 7, 2009

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment

General Atomics’ Electromagnetic Systems Division (GA-EMS), manufacturer of advanced linear motors for electromagnetic aircraft launching systems (EMALS), has broken ground on its phase IV, 50,000-square-foot expansion at its 72,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Shannon.  The project will create at least 20 new jobs. has rated Jackson the third best “bang-for-the-buck” city out of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the country. and has rated Jackson the 42nd America’s Fastest-Recovering Cities

Five ports on the Tenn-Tom in Northeast Mississippi have launched the joint initiative to boost awareness and traffic on the waterway. Called “GROWPORTS…

To help meet Mississippi’s growing energy needs and stabilize rising electricity costs, Entergy Mississippi, Inc. has announced that the Mississippi Public Service Commission approved plans for a major upgrade to the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in Port Gibson, Mississippi.

John Hendrix, director of economic development for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, has been installed as the 2010 Mississippi World Trade Center president.

The 2009 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Exporting was presented at the Mississippi World Trade Center’s Annual Meeting and International Business Awards Luncheon. The company was nominated by Larry Barnett, Executive Director, Harrison County Development Commission. 

Lyn Arnold, president and CEO of the Tunica County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Foundation, said Friday that she hopes the company can work out its private financing.

Advantage Capital Partners and its small business lending division BizCapital provided Mississippi New Markets Development program financing to Capturion Network, LLC, an innovative company which sells, installs and services digital scoreboards for sports and entertainment venues nationwide.

The City of Horn Lake has secured all of the funds needed for a multi-million-dollar project benefiting a local business.  …The city would be taking advantage of a $520,000 interest-free loan through the Mississippi Development Authority’s Freight Rail Program.

The EDA would be known as either Natchez Economic Development Corporation or Natchez Inc., a $380,000 per year marketing enterprise funded by Adams County, the City of Natchez and private investors.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has approved the State of Mississippi’s plan for a residential rebate program for the purchase of ENERGY STAR-rated appliances. The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) will administer the rebate program, which is expected to launch in Spring 2010.

Toyota is now denying the Nikkei report. Spokeswoman Barbara McDaniel tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that “nothing is decided” but that the company remains committed to opening the Blue Springs facility.

The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) has awarded 25 grants in the first round of the Mississippi Job Protection through Energy Economic Development Program.

Residents in Kemper County were able, for the last time, to gather and voice their concerns or issues over the proposed $2.2 billion lignite coal plant Mississippi Power is planning to build.

Chad Newell, the Meridian native will return to Hattiesburg to serve as the new president of Area Development Partnership.  and

The Madison County Chamber of Commerce has a new executive director.

Jackson County residents give input on plans for old IP plant. The company presentation also touched on economic development, including a $2 billion local investment, 1,000 construction jobs for up to four years, 177 full-time jobs and about $70 million per year spent locally on salaries and purchasing.

While the economic problems of the Mississippi River Delta region are long-standing and complex, there is hope for the region and it lies directly under our feet.  Simply put, the bioeconomy is an economic engine based around the utilization of plant-based materials in a wide variety of bio-based products, including chemicals, plastics and biofuels.

Carol Hardwick, Executive Director
Mississippi Economic Development Council (MEDC)
P. O. Box 3721, Jackson, MS  39207 
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 23, 2009

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment

The company will produce the composite components at its composite manufacturing center of excellence in Iuka, Mississippi. At peak production, ATK could produce up to 25 miles of A350 XWB composite components per month.

Five businesses held grand openings here (in Petal) Friday. Deborah Reynolds, president of the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce, said the solid financial news comes in part due to small businesses.  “These openings are a tremendous impact,” she said. “Our small business community is what keeps us going, and the work they’re doing is why we see the same steady sales tax figures.”

Stark Aerospace held the grand opening celebration of its new facility in Columbus yesterday. Stark Aerospace is a subsidiary of IAI North America, the U.S. subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI).

Pepsi bottlers, elected officials and economic development leaders yesterday celebrated the opening of a state-of-the-art Pepsi South bottling facility here that will produce 350,000 cases of Pepsi and Dr Pepper products per week.  The 236,000 square foot plant is located in the Forrest County Industrial Park, and is the only soft drink production facility in the area.

Advance Mississippi has released its latest issue brief, which provides an in-depth look at nuclear energy.

 The head of the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District is confident U.S. 80 – one of Jackson’s most troubled commercial areas – can be saved.  “This is a gigantic sector plan to try to take a part of the city of Jackson that is depressed and bring it back,” said Clarke Holmes, CEO of the development district. “This is city planning 101.”

Brookhaven — Lincoln County business leaders are accelerating plans to develop a 400-acre business park acquired last year solely with local funds.

Tim Mood, vice president of economic development for the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi, said Brookhaven and Lincoln County have always managed to have strong local leadership, period. “Look at some of the individuals in the past that have contributed to the local economic development process: Charleigh Ford, Doug Sullivan, Tillmon Bishop, Bill Sones, Chandler Russ and many others,” he said. “That excellence continues today with Mayor Massengill and Cliff Brumfield, a pro-business board of supervisors and IDF board carrying the torch.”

In a time when some major automakers are transitioning, business as usual is more than welcome at the Nissan manufacturing plant.

“I have a positive feeling about the outlook for our economy,” said Barron, who was in Jackson recently to speak at a forum sponsored by the Mississippi Council on Economic Education. “We’re seeing economic growth and spending but consumers will still be challenged because of unemployment rates. 

Facing growing budget constraints, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour wants to save money by cutting the state’s public universities from eight to five.

Federal regulators Thursday authorized Entergy Corp.’s utilities in Mississippi and Arkansas to leave a multistate agreement, a move expected to eventually save money for electric customers in Arkansas.

The Jones County Economic Development Authority Board of Director’s unanimously voted to provide a letter of support for Mississippi Power Company’s Kemper County Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Project and passed a resolution of support for the State Port in Gulfport

Join the MEDC group on LinkedIn – (members only)

MEDC Scholarship Application Period Open through Nov. 30
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 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 
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.