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Economic Development

Innovation Center backers say pandemic could cause some funding holdups

By TED CARTER A mix of private-sector money, federal new market tax credits, historic preservation tax credits and a hefty contribution from the State of Mississippi make up the bulk of funding for the $22 million technology and innovation center scheduled to open next year in Vicksburg’s former Mississippi Hardware building. The $22 million represents $12 million in a combination ...

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BRETT KITTREDGE — A path toward recovery in Mississippi

The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has uprooted many in this country, and all over the world. Kids are at home. The same place many of us are working. If you still have a job at all. Things are being done differently. We watch church online. We use Zoom video conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings. We pick up our groceries ...

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Only eight of Dogwood Festival stores are open during pandemic

Dogwood Festival Market is normally one of the most bustling retail centers along Lakeland Drive in Rankin County, but only eight of its 30 businesses were open earlier this week, in some fashion, due to the corona virus pandemic, according to Inland National Real Estate Services LLC. The Chicago-based company issued the following statement: “Dogwood Festival is abiding by the ...

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MBJ FOCUS: Mississippi ranks last in pay equality for women

By BECKY GILLETTE Mississippi ranks last in the U.S. when it comes to pay equity for women. “We are now the only state in the nation without some equal pay protections in our state law,” said Tracy DeVries, executive director, Women’s Foundation of Mississippi. “Alabama legislators passed a state equal pay bill last session.”  According to the Institute for Women’s ...

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MBJ FOCUS: State’s tourism tumbles amid pandemic

By LISA MONTI The year started out on an upbeat note for the Coast’s tourism industry. The visitor numbers for January and February were the best in four years, and March was on track to continue the trend. Nearly $750 million worth of projects including upscale hotels and the Mississippi Aquarium were on the verge of opening. Coastal Mississippi, the ...

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Retailers know that it takes more than a ‘village’ to make it through tough times

By JACK WEATHERLY It may take more than a village to survive the corona virus. Highland Village shops are taking creative approaches to stay in touch with and serve their clientele. Linsey Armstrong, director of marketing for the venerable collection of shops in northeast Jackson, had just finished participating in the latest webinar Thursday afternoon about steps that can be ...

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Shops, restaurants at Renaissance try new ways to survive

By JACK WEATHERLY “Our usual advertising theme is ‘your dining and shopping destination.’” “Now we say: ‘We’re your curbside dining and shopping destination,’” Jan Mattiace jokingly said in an interview on Wednesday. But the corona virus epidemic’s disruption of commerce and just about everything else in the country and world, is no joke, Mattiace said. Many retailers across the nation ...

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Virus forces restaurants to tighten up or close across Mississippi

By JACK WEATHERLY Restaurants across Mississippi are either running abbreviated service to try to avoid closing because of the coronavirus pandemic – or have already closed. “Sales started plummeting early last week,” said Pat Fontaine, executive director of the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association. The public’s fear of the contagion and statements and mandates by federal and local government have ...

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Nissan, Toyota to temporarily shut down

Nissan on Wednesday said it would halt production at its Canton facility and others in the U.S. for two weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the Clarion Ledger. The production outage — affecting about 5,250 employees in Canton — will last from March 20 through April 6. “The company is taking this action to boost containment efforts where possible around the COVID-19 coronavirus,” ...

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TODD SMITH — Transparency, preparation key for Coronavirus pandemic communications

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on our world – and in the world of clear communications! Officials and leaders around the globe are warning people of the potential ramifications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) by the day and hour. Supply-chain management, special events, retail and hospitality businesses are all vulnerable to disruptions caused by this far-reaching public health concern, according to ...

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