Historic economic development in Natchez – it’s time to say it.
Time to print it: Based on current economic indicators, Natchez is now one of the state’s fastest growing economies, and quite possibly the fastest growing per capita.
Consider only the last days:
- This week we received our July sales tax payment of over $ 500,000. We’ve now passed $ 500,000 four straight months – a city record and quite possibly the state’s strongest per capita sales tax performance.
- On August 11, we announced that a large Southern energy company, Delta Fuel, was moving its headquarters to downtown Natchez – more than 50 well-paying jobs. They are now embarking on a multi-million dollar renovation of the historic Callon building.
- On August 16, we kicked off the million dollar renovation of the historic Broadway Depot, which will soon become the best farm-to-table restaurant on the cliffs of the Mississippi River.
- On August 19, we celebrated the announcement of a $ 24 million renovation of the historic Eola Hotel in the heart of downtown Natchez, to include a parking garage, new retail space downtown and the development of new restaurants by renowned restaurateur NOLA Dickie Brennan.
- Also on August 19, we met in Jackson with Governor Tate Reeves, his economic development team, and the CEO and vice-president of Velocys, an international technology company, to discuss an agreement that is currently underway to build a $ 1.5 billion biorefinery. -Belwood Industrial Park Plant – one of only two such facilities built in America to produce sustainable aviation fuel using timber resources.
Additionally, this week we had a very important meeting with one of the country’s leading consulting firms, the Horne Group, to discuss the final details of the MED Natchez marketing plan. Medical Economic Development, promoting Natchez as a regional ‘health center’, is about to take place, with a public reveal in September where we will release details of this sweeping plan.
We also met with officials from the Mississippi Department of Agriculture this week to discuss international timber exports using the Port of Natchez. A follow-up meeting will be held on August 30 with a visit to Natchez by Port of New Orleans Executive Director Brandy Christian and his staff. Working closely with Natchez Harbor Manager Anthony Hauer and the Adams County Supervisory Board, great projects and opportunities are ahead.
If we add to the fact that over the past year we have experienced record employment growth (nearly 700), record real estate sales (nearly 600), record growth in new business (more of 70) and new record building permits (over 250 worth over $ 40 million), these facts tell a historic story. Natchez is booming. And as previously stated, we are now among the fastest growing economies in Mississippi.
Words are insufficient to express my gratitude. So many individuals, groups, entities and businesses came together to make it all possible. And I truly believe that God’s favor is on our city because we make it a priority to work together and love each other.
Well done Natchez! Let us commit to maintaining this momentum.
Natchez deserves more.
Dan M. Gibson is mayor of the city of Natchez.