Dr. Scott Alsobrooks, Guest Columnist
The Picayune Item
Communities in Miss. and the southeast are doing everything possible to position themselves ahead of the pack in their economic development efforts.
Internally, from a local government perspective, it is important to have local elected leaders that are engaged in economic development. This is important in all levels of government. Haley Barbour sometimes referred to himself as the Chief Economic Development Officer of Miss., while he was governor. The importance of job creation that leads to tax generation is crucial to reinvigorating local infrastructure and the community in general.
Cities and counties should focus on making the development process as seamless and painless as possible by eliminating local obstacles. The regulatory environment in a city or county can quickly become a maze of bureaucratic red tape, fees, and other problems for developers. Simplifying the growth and development process should be the top concern for progressive city and county administrators.
Counties and cities need to hire professionals to recruit new investments. The economic development world is a tight knit community, and you need someone who is known and respected within the development arena. Prospects can pass through the state of Miss. rapidly in search for a home for a business development. Having an advocate for the community at the state level is a necessity.
Pearl River County elected officials have chosen to retain the services of Butler Snow Advisory Services to recruit new businesses and to foster growth of current businesses for Pearl River County. While the local elected officials can simplify the development process, Butler Snow Advisory Services will strive to bring new business opportunities to Pearl River County. As I have written in this space before, Pearl River County is ideally located in respect to interstate, rail and port access. Mix in the proximity to Stennis Space Center, greater New Orleans, Gulfport/Biloxi and Hattiesburg, and hopefully our county can experience the type of success that some of those in north and central Miss. have experienced.