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States look to Internet taxes to close budget gaps

June 20th, 2011 2 comments

State governments across the country are laying off teachers, closing public libraries and parks, and reducing health care services, but there is one place they could get $23 billion a year if they could only agree how to do it: Internet retailers such as Amazon.com.

Read complete story here …

Bryant expects to be endorsed by realtors

June 8th, 2011 1 comment

The media relations team for Phil Bryant’s gubernatorial campaign has released a statement to announce a press conference at 1 p.m. Thursday.
The release states that the campaign expects to receive an endorsement from the Mississippi Association of Realtors.
The press conference will be held at the Mississippi Association of Realtors office on Lakeland Drive in Jackson.

Super Chikan getting it done for Bill Luckett

June 6th, 2011 2 comments

If only because he’s running as a Democrat for governor of Mississippi, Bill Luckett has what you might describe as an outside chance of winning. But here’s Super Chikan celebrating Mr. Luckett in the club the candidate co-owns with Morgan Freeman.

Casino boss hints at mysterious NASCAR track

June 6th, 2011 Comments off

While there is still no official statement about efforts to bring a NASCAR or NASCAR-type track to Mississippi, the state’s gaming commissioner Larry Gregory hinted at it Monday.

At the monthly John C. Stennis Institute of Government luncheon in downtown Jackson, he said that Mississippi will need to invest heavily in other tourism attractions — such as convention centers, water parks and racing tracks — near its waterfront casinos.

“There’s been talk on the coast, but also Tunica, of bringing some mega race track into the facilities,” he said.

See a previous blog post about NASCAR in Mississippi.

It’s National Do-Nut Day

June 3rd, 2011 Comments off

I don’t know who started it (probably some lobbyist somewhere), but I am glad National Do-Nut Day was started in America.
I have done my part. We now have 2 dozen (one dozen regular; half blueberry; half chocolate) from Scurlock’s in the MBJ offices.
What have you done for your office today?
I will say some of the women in advertising hollered at me (in a really mean way) when I announced there were do-nuts in the break room.
So, you may want to take that into consideration.

MBJ Poll: Should Enerkem receive funds from the Mississippi Development Authority?

June 2nd, 2011 Comments off

Should Enerkem receive funds from the Mississippi Development Authority? http://msbusiness.com/current-poll/

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Listen to my interview on MPB

June 2nd, 2011 Comments off

I had a great interview with Mississippi Public Broadcasting that aired this morning. You can listen to it here.060211 MS Business Journal

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Mississippians optimistic about the future

June 1st, 2011 Comments off

Look for a story in the upcoming Mississippi Business Journal on the detailed report on the results gathered during in the Mississippi Economic Council’s Blueprint Mississippi Road Show
According to the MEC, more than 2,000 business and community leaders from throughout the state took part in the electronic voting process at the face-to-face meetings held in 20 different communities. An additional 1,000 participated in an online survey, which asked the same questions.
We will be looking at the results and finding out what they mean.

Dennis ahead of Bryant in MBJ poll

May 31st, 2011 Comments off

South Mississippi Businessman Dave Dennis leads Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant in a poll on www.msbusiness.com on who Mississippi Business Journal Readers will vote for for Republican nominee for governor.

People will come Ray; they will come for B.B.

May 27th, 2011 Comments off

Hey, I realize it’s baseball season, and the Red Sox are on a roll, but please forgive me because I apparently have the movie “Field of Dreams” on my mind.
I think I even responded to my wife, Sarah, last night, saying, “It’s OK, honey. I… I was just talking to the cornfield.”
Fantasy is fun to play with from time to time. You know, you see a billboard that reads, “Lottery, $125 million,” and you immediately begin to think about what you would do with the money.
Uh, No. 1, buy a luxury suite at Fenway Park.
Oh, sorry.
Dreaming?
Well, I must be, because the Mississippi Business Journal has reported that the Farish Street Entertainment District boondoggle that everyone (I mean everyone) said would never happen, has signed a 15-year lease with an old blues guy.
Maybe you know of him.
He’s from Indianola — a guy by the name of Riley.
No, he’s not my cousin. We spell ours funny.
Anyway, I think his momma was the only one to call him that.
Most folks just call him B.B.
Yep, the B.B. King’s Blues Club, in conjunction with Beale Street Blues Co., has signed a 15-year lease on the former Star Laundry building on Farish Street, putting in place a key element in the plans of Watkins Development to bring life back to a street that once served as a key entertainment and shopping destination for Jackson’s African-American residents.
Build it and they will come, the voice in the cornfield said.
Well, if there were ever time to believe the voice, now may be it.
When I lived in Greenville years ago, there were lots of swirling rumors that representatives of B.B. King were involved to financing everything from a downtown entertainment district to a casino and blues museum.
However, King’s representatives would never comment when we called for confirmation.
So, imagine my level of scoffing when I arrived in Jackson three years ago and immediately led on a tour of the proposed Farish Street project with the dream of having B.B. King anchor the district.
Yeah, well, I had heard that song and dance before.
OK, so now I am on board.
If B.B. King’s Blues Club indeed arrives at the corners of Amite and Farish as the anchor for the entire district, you can begin the countdown on the announcement that success has been realized in the revitalization of downtown Jackson.
There will still be doubters. There always are, but “Ray, people will come.
“They’ll come to (Jackson) for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up (on Farish Street) not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive … as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere … (like) when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch … and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come, Ray. But (blues) has marked the time. This (place) … it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”
Sure, I know I am the crazy guy in the cornfield, but I believe that an event like this can be the tipping point for an entire community, a business district and ultimately a city.
People will come.

Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at ross.reily@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1018.