Economic development tour visits Meridian, Hattiesburg

Economic development tour visits Meridian, Hattiesburg


Mississippi Power’s Economic Development, Community Development and Marketing departments held Downtown Destiny workshops recently in Meridian and Hattiesburg building on the success of the event held during February in Biloxi.

The community marketing events were an opportunity to provide local leaders with the tools they need to attract and grow commercial development in downtown areas.

“In addition to providing you with clean, efficient and reliable electric power, we’re also involved in economic development because we recognize that economic growth and stability depend on job creation,” said Meridian Division Manager Eddie Kelly. “Energy is a major driver in development and the foundation of growth.

At each event, market analyses reports containing area-specific data were prepared for each community representative, giving them the information they need to make their communities economically viable.

“Downtown districts are vital to the areas Mississippi Power serves and the company is committed to attracting new business and industry to south Mississippi,” said Pine Belt Division Manager Michael Harvey.

“Whether a business is looking to re-locate, expand or open a new store front, we’re prepared to provide information needed to help make improvements by partnering with local realtors, developers, financial institutions, Main Street organizations and Chambers of Commerce,” he added.

Featured speakers for the events were Doug Neil of Daniel Community Advisors, who spoke on site identification and Chuck Branch CEO of r360 Consulting, who discussed marketing your community.

“Critical to the initial research assessment is an understanding of the current retail landscape, real estate opportunities for development and redevelopment,” Branch said. “Identification of the target retail and restaurant concepts that enhance the tenant base and achieve the goals set by city officials is also important. Only when we’ve reached an understanding of where you, as a community, have been and where you are currently can there be a realistic strategy for where you want to go.”

Those in attendance were encouraged to ask questions, and members of Mississippi Power’s Commercial Development, Community Development and Marketing teams were on hand to provide further information that included occupying vacant buildings, building leadership and energy efficiency programs.

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for nearly 187,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power ranked first in the Southeast Electric Exchange’s 2016 Safety Performance Reports and is consistently recognized as an industry leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at and, like us on Facebook, and follow us on TwitterLinkedInGoogle+ and YouTube.