Since the middle of March most of the country has been dealing with the pandemic and the shutdown of the economy. Here in Mississippi, most businesses didn’t shut down until early April, but remained shuttered for almost 6 weeks. For most businesses (small and large), this has been a very difficult time both professionally and financially. Now that the national and local economies are beginning to re-open, it remains to be seen how many small businesses will have the capital and/or resources to be able to re-open. In addition, many business reports suggest that more employee layoffs and terminations will continue through June and July. One thing is for sure, employment may be very difficult to find over the next year or two.
One of the many positives that do come out of any crisis, downturn and/or recession (call it what you want) is that many people make the decision to open up their own new business. Whether you have an established business or are thinking of opening your own business, a great tool to keep in mind is the Mississippi Commercial Real Estate Exchange (MSCREX). This valuable resource was designed, created and implemented by the Mississippi Commercial Association of Realtors to be a listing platform for commercial real estate agents, much like the multiple listing service is to residential agents. However, commercial Realtors wanted something that all businesses (small and large) and investors could go to get valuable information about areas in Mississippi that is usually and particularly difficult to get. As most Mississippians know, our state doesn’t have the usual research firms that post and sell the type of data and statistic available in larger markets. However, a lot of information is readily available from most government entities such as MDOT; Secretary of State and most of the county economic development authorities located in Mississippi. MSCREX is a tool that brings all of these resources together.
Below, I have described the top three (3) reasons most businesses should use MSCREX as their company’s information source when considering opening or expanding their business.
First, is Valuable Resources. As mentioned previously, the “Resources” tab in MSCREX has a lot of information such as traffic counts; demographic information, utility companies, economic development authorities and their respective website addresses. All of the information from these various resources is instrumental in making decisions on where to locate, operate your business or expand to other markets. In regards to rural areas of Mississippi, most of the time, the economic development authorities are the only source of information.
Second, is Property Availability. The main reason this site was created by the Mississippi Commercial Association of Realtors (MCAR) was to provide a platform for its members to list, lease and sell Mississippi commercial properties. However, we also wanted a site that was free to anyone who wanted to search for available property in the state of Mississippi. Again, our membership took the approach that we wanted to be a resource to all business owners, banks, government agencies and others who wanted to be able to search for properties and spaces that may be available for lease or sale. Just go to MSCREX.com, scroll down to the three images of the state Mississippi and click to search the whole state, a region or by county. Then, from there you can click to filter your results depending on your requirements such as city, for sale, for lease, warehouse, office, etc.
Third, is a List of Real Estate Professionals. Our membership into the Mississippi Association of Realtors and the Mississippi Commercial Association of Realtors is not taken lightly.. All of our members are required to not only be licensed, but to take a certain amount of required curriculum and to abide by a strict code of ethics. In addition, our members are required when they join MSCREX to list their respective specialties such as retail, office, industrial or multifamily. Our members could also have other specialties such as leasing, investment sales, appraisal, management, etc. This database insures that when you need an expert, you can choose a commercial real estate professional who understands your business needs.
Overall, our goal and mission is to continue to upgrade and add to MSCREX.com so Mississippi businesses have a resource to make sound business decisions, search for available property and search for a real estate professional that fits their business need. Our members are adding to and updating listings every day. Again, to search for property and get the many tools and resources is free to everyone. The website address for MSCREX is www.mscrex.com. Please reach out to me should you have any questions or concerns.
» Brian E. Estes is president and investment advisor with the Estes Group and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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