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Magnolia on the Move: June 1, 2023

Magnolia on the Move: June 1, 2023

By: Frank Corder - June 1, 2023

Spotlighting the people and businesses in Mississippi making headlines in their communities and across their industry.

Here’s a look at what’s happening across the business community in Mississippi.

Raggio Mercantile cuts ribbon in Raymond

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Raggio Mercantile’s new store in Raymond was held this week. Governor Tate Reeves, Speaker Philip Gunn and Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson were all on hand for the event.

Owner Josh Raggio began making handmade duck calls over a decade ago. The business grew quickly thanks to his personal touch, exemplary craftsmanship, and willingness to interact with his customers.

(Photo from Raggio Mercantile Facebook page)

Raggio and his wife had dreamed of expanding and opening the mercantile for years. That dream came to fruition in late 2022 when they invested in the new storefront and workshop, bringing high-end sporting and lifestyle offerings to the Raymond area.

The new mercantile offers customers everything from soaps and beard oils to handbags and jewelry to unique gifts and branded clothing. Learn more about Raggio Mercantile on their Facebook page.

Singing River breaks ground on new Vancleave Medical Clinic

Singing River Health System is breaking ground on a new Medical Clinic in Vancleave this week.

According to the health system, the new clinic will be a 7,808 square foot facility built directly behind its current clinic. It is expected to serve an estimated 25,000 patients annually. The health system says this project will substantially improve the health, safety, and quality of life for northern Jackson County for many years to come.

The new development was funded with a state legislative appropriation from Gulf Coast Restoration Funds.

“We are thrilled to enhance patient access and deliver superior care to the Vancleave community and its surrounding areas,” said Tiffany Murdock, CEO of Singing River Health System, in a statement. “It’s of utmost importance that we proactively address the healthcare needs of the communities we serve.”

Mississippi Development Authority wins Economic Development Organization award

The Mississippi Development Authority has been honored with an Economic Development Organization Award by Business Facilities. According to the announcement, the recognition marks the first edition of the EDO Awards, which honor the exceptional efforts of economic developers to foster community growth through innovative programs and incentives.

Business Facilities conducted a meticulous evaluation of the nominations received through an online portal, ultimately selecting 24 winners in different categories, including State, Utility, Large, Mid-Sized and Small EDO.

The EDO Awards honor both emerging and established initiatives that have made a significant impact on economic development. MDA was honored with the award for its new Mississippi Flexible Tax Incentive program, also known as MFLEX.

Passed by the Mississippi Legislature in 2022, MFLEX is a streamlined universal tax credit that can be used to offset Mississippi state tax liabilities. The simplicity of MFLEX’s application process has been greatly appreciated by companies as it eliminates the need for multiple applications for incentive programs. To qualify, companies must invest more than $2.5 million and create at least 10 jobs.

Ingalls to hold keel-laying for LPD 31

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Pascagoula shipyard will host a ceremonial keel-laying for the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock Pittsburgh (LPD 31) on Friday, June 2, 2023.

The Pittsburgh (LPD 31) is the fifth Navy vessel to be named after the historic city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The first ship was an ironclad gunboat and served during the American Civil War. Since then, the name Pittsburgh has been assigned to four vessels that have served the U.S. during conflict.

The ship’s sponsor, Nancy Urban, will be in attendance as she declares the keel “truly and fairly laid.”

According to Ingalls Shipbuilding, Ingalls has delivered 12 San Antonio-class ships to the Navy and has three more under construction, including Richard M. McCool (LPD 29), Harrisburg (LPD 30) and Pittsburgh (LPD 31), which will be the second Flight II LPD.

LPD Flight II is the next generation amphibious ship to replace Whidbey Island (LSD 41) and Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) classes of dock landing ships. Amphibious transport docks are a major part of the Navy’s 21st century expeditionary force, deployed with a U.S. Marine Corps Air-Ground Task Force for amphibious and expeditionary crisis response operations that range from deterrence and joint-force enablement to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.


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About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications such as the Daily Caller. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: