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Economic Development

Jim Barksdale to lead Miss. Development Authority

JACKSON — Governor-elect Phil Bryant appointed Jim Barksdale Interim Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority today. Barksdale, former President and CEO of Netscape Communications Corp., will succeed Leland Speed as chief of the agency that leads Mississippi’s economic development efforts. “When I campaigned for governor, economic development and job creation were cornerstones of my campaign,” said Gov.-elect Phil Bryant. ...

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ALL BUSINESS: Former bank president Chuck Jordan hits the ground running as new Greenville mayor

In an election year when politics dominated headlines, perhaps Chuck Jordan’s sweeping victory in the Greenville mayoral race topped them all. In a surprising landslide victory, banker-turned-politician Jordan took more than 64 percent of the vote to become Greenville’s next mayor. Not only was this his first political campaign, Jordan, a white, took 40 percent of the black vote. Running ...

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RETIREMENT VERDICT — Study panel says report is prescription for sustaining state public workers’ retirement

The strategy is to structure benefits consistent with a  policy that encourages workers to stay on the job until age 62 “All the cards are on the table face up.” So went the pronouncement of Gov. Haley Barbour last week in detailing a 40-page report that calls for saving over $100 million annually in taxpayer contributions to the Public Employees ...

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Jackson council set for hotel vote Monday amid rush to sell bonds

A decision by Jackson City Council Monday (Dec. 19) to build a 16-floor, $96 million convention center hotel will hand Mayor Harvey Johnson a signature victory but a thumbs down from the council will give him a serious setback. The city put the deal on a fast-track to enable proposed development partner Transcontinental Realty Investments Inc. to meet a Dec. ...

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Cause of Jackson Convention Complex deficit goes beyond HQ hotel

Lack of a convention headquarters hotel has been blamed for the Jackson Convention hotel complex losing $12 million in business last year. But the 330,000-square-foot complex has lost far more meetings and convention business since its late 2009 opening for reasons other than available hotel space, a study by H.C. Johnson Consulting of Chicago found. H.C. Johnson, which specializes in ...

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Savannah getting double – possibly triple – scrutiny on its convention hotel plans

When an initial market study for a convention hotel in Savannah, Ga., made rosy predictions for occupancy rates for the proposed 500-room hotel, the board that governs the city’s convention center responded with a “not so fast.” Like Jackson, Savannah has concluded that its convention center, known officially as the International Trade & Convention Center, can’t reach its potential without ...

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Alabama nabs foreign auto execs in immigration crackdowns

What’s keeping Alabama’s economic development officials awake at night? Perhaps it’s the new propensity of state lawmen to snag high-ranking executives of foreign carmakers in immigration enforcement dragnets. Over the years, Alabama put the welcome mat out for the car manufacturers to come to the state and create thousands of well-paying jobs. But strict enforcement of Alabama’s new immigration ID ...

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Vinod Khosla's Range Fuels has declared bankruptcy

Range Fuels, a manufacturing startup that planned to convert wood chips to cellulosic ethanol has declared bankruptcy, Bloomberg reports. The company was heavily backed by venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, whose Khosla Ventures is also backing four green energy startups to which the Mississippi legislature has authorized tens of millions in state aid: Soladigm, KiOR, Stion and HCL Cleantech. Range Fuels ...

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Cities realize hike-bike trails good for local economy

>> MDOT awards $3 million for metro area improvements Cities are realizing that hike and bike trails are not only important for citizens’ quality of life but are also a powerful economic development tools. Recently, the cities of Jackson, Ridgeland and Flowood received a collective total of $3.1 million for pedestrian trail enhancements awarded through the Mississippi Department of Transportation. ...

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Creative economy hitting the road

For those who missed last August’s pioneering Creative Economy Summit in Jackson, there is good news. The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) and Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) are bringing the show on the road. Beginning tomorrow, the MDA and MAC will host five Creative Economy Road Show events in regions throughout the state. From Mississippi’s artists, artisans, writers, architects and designers, ...

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