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EMBDC: It's not just about new' prospects

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
June 13, 2003
Area business people were reminded Thursday that economic development incentives are not just for new industrial prospects.
The East Mississippi Business Development Corp. hosted an Existing Business Summit at the Howard Johnson Convention Center focusing on incentives for existing manufacturers.
Wade Jones, EMBDC president, said the summit's goal was to bring manufacturers and their support services together so that the community can address the needs of the area's manufacturing base.
Participants Thursday heard a presentation on the state's economy from Dr. Phil Pepper, state economist and assistant commissioner for economic research at the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.
Pepper used a slide presentation to show how population and employment trends have changed in the state since the 1930s. He said education has been a key determining factor in both economic and population growth.
The summit also included a panel discussion about available incentives for existing businesses with Bill Barry, executive director of the Mississippi Business Finance Corporation; Buddy Mitcham of Holley, Grubbs, Mitcham &Phillips, a bond advisers firm; and Jay McCarthy, manager of the Financial Resources Division of the Mississippi Development Authority.
There was an update on tort reform by state Sen. Tommy Robertson, R-Moss Point, and a presentation on the status and future of manufacturing in the state by Jay Moon, president of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association.