By Mississippi Development Authority
Mississippi has long been recognized for its unique charm, rich history and warm hospitality. Beyond its cultural heritage, however, Mississippi boasts a supportive business environment that is attracting industry leaders from around the world and encouraging existing companies to grow in the state. Two notable initiatives contributing to this favorable climate are the Site Development Grant Program and the Mississippi Flexible Tax Incentive, or MFLEX, program.
The Site Development Grant Program is a testament to Mississippi’s commitment to providing shovel-ready sites to businesses with speed to market at top of mind. Throughout the state, readily available sites are coming online for companies off all sizes, in all sectors, that are ready to turn dirt and begin construction so they can quickly set up shop and get products to end users in record time. Mississippi tackles the behind-the-scenes work and due diligence, eliminating the need for businesses to invest precious time and resources in site preparation.
The state’s MFLEX program also is a sterling example of Mississippi’s dedication to fostering economic growth. Designed to accommodate a variety of industries, this streamlined universal tax credit can be used to offset companies’ Mississippi state tax liabilities. MFLEX also eliminates the need for multiple applications; its simplified one-application process is quite attractive to businesses looking to optimize the advantages of a Mississippi location.
Another key aspect of Mississippi’s supportive business environment is its dedication to fostering innovation. Business and industry partner with the state’s acclaimed research institutions to develop R&D initiatives designed to advance sectors like manufacturing, aerospace and automotive, increasingly positioning them as national and international hubs for cutting-edge innovation. These collaborations are shaping the future of industry and readying companies for continued progress and success that will span generations.
Mississippi’s pro-business stance also is reflected in its workforce development efforts. The state has made significant investments in education and training programs, ensuring a skilled and adaptable workforce is available to meet the evolving needs of businesses. Mississippi’s community colleges and universities are actively engaged in providing workforce training programs, and partnerships with industry leaders are common, ensuring that the workforce is aligned with the ever-changing demands of the job market.
Just as alluring, the state’s low cost of living and competitive operating costs make it an attractive destination for businesses looking to establish a presence in the Southern U.S. A lower tax burden, affordable real estate and favorable labor costs enable businesses to allocate resources more efficiently, resulting in improved profitability and growth potential.
These factors and more contribute to the economic development wins the state has welcomed in 2023. From diesel engines to drones, wood panels to radar systems, top-notch products produced by a range of companies that are locating or expanding in Mississippi are generating quality jobs and significant investments in communities across the state.
In May, Clark Beverage Group announced a $100 million expansion in Madison County, a project that is creating 30 new jobs. Clark Beverage Group, a leading distributor of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages like Coca-Cola, is a fourth-generation family-owned bottler with five locations in Mississippi. For its latest expansion, the company is adding a new sales and distribution facility and acquiring more equipment to better serve consumers in Mississippi and neighboring states.
Also in the second quarter of the year, Hood Industries and Huber Engineered Woods both announced significant projects in Beaumont, Mississippi, and Shuqualak, Mississippi, respectively.
Hood Industries is investing $216.5 million and creating 265 jobs to support a new world-class laminated plywood panel manufacturing facility in Perry County. The facility will operate at twice the capacity of Hood Industries’ previous facility, which was made inoperable following a tornado in April.
Huber Engineered Woods, one of the largest private land managers in the U.S., announced the location of a state-of-the-art oriented strand board manufacturing plant in Shuqualak, a $418 million investment that is creating nearly 160 jobs. The new plant will be situated on a 551-acre site where Huber will produce engineered wood panels.
Defense leader Raytheon, an RTX business, broke ground in September on a 17,000-square-foot expansion of its Consolidated Manufacturing Center in Forest, Mississippi. The project is a $50 million investment and will create 100 high-skill jobs over the next five years. Raytheon is constructing a new building on its Forest campus to serve as a hub for the production, test and integration of Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band pods for the U.S. Navy and Australian government, as well as airborne radar programs. This investment marks Raytheon’s third expansion in Forest since 2013.
In October, global automotive technology company PACCAR announced the expansion of its operations in Columbus. The $209.4 million investment represents two projects that will create a total of 100 jobs. PACCAR is expanding its existing manufacturing facility in Columbus by 50,000 square feet to add remanufacturing operations at the site. The company also is expanding operations to meet future emissions requirements for diesel engines.
These are just a few of the notable projects generating significant investments and hundreds of jobs in communities throughout Mississippi. Other companies in aerospace, renewable energy, logistics/distribution and more are actively growing and locating in the state, due largely in part to the fact Mississippi is actively cultivating an environment where businesses can thrive, offering the infrastructure, resources and workforce necessary for lasting success. With a future full of promise and potential, Mississippi is a prime location for entrepreneurs and corporations seeking a home where concepts not only become reality, but they also take root and flourish.
Visit mississippi.org to learn about the many benefits of doing business in the state or contact the Locate team at 1.800.360.3323. Consider Mississippi – you’ll be glad you did.