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Economic Development

Life on the Coast: Five years of the new normal

Has it really been five years since Hurricane Katrina roared across Mississippi?  It’s easy to think it was just yesterday but at the same time feel it’s been 50 years since life for so many people changed. On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, things changed radically. Even a casual observer who doesn’t live here can drive along Highway 90 and see ...

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‘Cadillac of welcome wagons’

Lighthouse Park is on the way   Ask Vincent Creel about the Biloxi Lighthouse Park and Visitor Center, and he gets really excited. The 25,000-square-foot complex will be the “Cadillac of welcome wagons,” Creel said. Expected to open in April 2011, the Lighthouse Park and Visitor Center’s total cost will fall somewhere between $13 million and $15 million, with $8 ...

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Bringing back Central Ave.

In the 1970s and into the 1980s, Central Avenue in D’Iberville was a bustling corridor that connected the small Gulf Coast town with its larger neighbor, Biloxi. Businesses thrived there. According to D’Iberville’s director of community development, between 15,000 and 20,000 cars pounded the Central Avenue pavement daily, most of them carrying commuters to and from Biloxi. That isn’t the ...

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Heritage or Hindrance? — Mississippi flag plays a role in state’s sports and economic development

Pearl’s Trustmark Park is in the hunt to host the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament, but in the end, the SEC says our state flag is a negative factor, officially making the Confederate symbol a financial liability Since the mid 1990s, the Birmingham, Ala., suburb of Hoover has been the site of the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament. That may change next year. ...

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Swoope: State must be relentless

  MDA head says business has moved into state and more is coming   While not immune to the recession, business recruitment and retention in Mississippi has not slacked, and a slew of economic development projects are underway. “I think that certainly the national and global economy has a major economic impact on our state. We’re not immune to it, but ...

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Tupelo has seen expansion during tough times

While much of Mississippi struggles economically, Tupelo has seen expansions and new projects pump $53 million in capital investments during the last year, said Shane Homan, senior vice president of the Community Development Foundation in Tupelo. From May 2009 to April 2010, the Tupelo area has had 12 expansions and four new projects that will create an estimated $27 million ...

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Healthcare, education, military stirs economy

Hattiesburg has been named as one of the top 10 small metro areas in the nation   A strong healthcare system, universities and a military presence have helped economic development in the Hattiesburg area weather the economic downturn. “The Pine Belt has not been completely immune to the economic downturn. However, due to the diversity of our economy we have ...

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RAIL program could have significant impact

RAIL provides loans to municipalities and counties for freight rail service projects The Mississippi Freight Rail Revolving Loan/Grant (RAIL) program may not generate banner headlines, but there is no arguing that it could make a huge impact economically in the state. A program of the Mississippi Development Authority’s (MDA’s) Community Services division, RAIL provides loans to municipalities and counties for ...

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Promoting economic development MDA’s job

PriorityOne is a key strategy in the state’s business retention and expansion efforts Assisting businesses in solving long-term problems, promoting economic development and job creation and strengthening and diversifying local Mississippi economies. That is priority one for the Mississippi Development Authority’s PriorityOne program. A creation of the agency’s Existing Industry and Business (EIB) division, the PriorityOne program was introduced in ...

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Hattiesburg’s ADP looking to Newell for new direction

Meridian native arrives with solid economic development credentials    The last two presidents of the Area Development Partnership (ADP) had limited economic development experience. Needing a new leader to replace the departing Dr. Angie Godwin, the Hattiesburg-based organization’s board went looking for someone with a proven economic development background. And, the board feels it has found its man in Chad ...

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