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Nearly $7 billion in corporate...

Nearly $7 billion in corporate investment has come to Mississippi since 2020

By: Frank Corder - November 27, 2023

Photo from Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves' Twitter page.

The Magnolia State has seen unprecedented corporate investment over the last four years.

The recruitment and expansion of business and industry through the state’s main economic development arm, the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), is a main priority of any administration.

Since 2020, during the tenure of Governor Tate Reeves (R), Mississippi has seen unprecedented corporate investment, despite the initial national economic slowdown that occurred at the beginning of his term due to the global COVID pandemic.

Mississippi did not remain closed, economically speaking, as long as did other states. The Reeves Administration quickly adjusted to the everchanging dynamics of the pandemic, allowing for the state’s economy to reopen and rebound sooner than states where more heavy-handed governors, most led by Democrats, imposed longer term closures. This stance buoyed MDA’s ability to hold up Mississippi as being pro-business and pro-worker.

From homegrown Mississippi start-ups to international corporations, MDA’s primary role is to build relationships with existing businesses in the state while seeking to attract new businesses looking to call the Magnolia State home by offering development assistance, matching potential investments with possible state and local incentives, navigating local and state requirements, and accessing talent from workforce training programs, colleges and universities that provide a skilled, capable workforce across the state.

MDA also helps small- to mid-sized businesses become competitive in national and global economies through a comprehensive series of international trade and investment programs.

Since January 2020, the Mississippi Development Authority reports that it has assisted with nearly $7 billion in new corporate investment across the state, accounting for large projects from nearly 40 new industries locating in Mississippi and the expansion of over 60 businesses that already called Mississippi home. These investments created and/or saved upwards of 12,000 jobs.

In 2020 and 2021, at the height of the COVID pandemic, new corporate investment neared $2 billion while creating and/or saving over 8,600 jobs in Mississippi. These investments spanned a variety of industries, from aerospace to lumber to tech and much more, and were made in communities throughout the Magnolia State from the Coast to Corinth.

Of the 35 large scale investments announced by MDA in 2020, 19 counties benefited from the state’s economic development efforts. The five largest projects in 2020 were:

  • Associated Wholesale Grocers in DeSoto County: $300 million
  • Calgon Carbon in Hancock County: $185 million
  • Mission Forest Products in Alcorn County: $160 million
  • Kimberly-Clark in Alcorn County: $140 million
  • Idaho Forest Group in Lamar County: $120 million

In 2021, MDA reported another 35 major corporate investments in Mississippi, located in 26 counties. The top five projects in 2021 were:

  • Biewer Lumber in Montgomery County: $130 million
  • Tyson Foods in Warren County: $61 million
  • Milwaukee Tool in Grenada County: $60 million
  • Jones in Forrest County: $40 million
  • AITX Railcar Services in Lincoln County: $23 million

Mississippi, then, saw the largest single economic development project in state history come to fruition in 2022 when Governor Reeves called the Legislature in for a special session, the only one during this first term, to approve incentives for the $2.5 billion expansion of Steel Dynamics in Lowndes County. The project expanded its Columbus footprint and added two new facilities in the Golden Triangle Industrial Park while creating 1,000 jobs. Hiring for this venture is currently underway.

Rounding out the top five notable investments made in 2022 across 17 counties, as reported by MDA, were:

  • Nissan in Madison County: $500 million
  • Enviva in Stone County: $250 million
  • CLAW Forestry in Amite County: $200 million
  • Altex Tube in Lowndes County: $110 million

In 2022 alone, the 24 corporate investments in Mississippi, as reported by MDA, topped $4 billion and created and/or saved over 3,000 jobs.

Thus far this year, MDA notes 15 large scale corporate investments totaling nearly $1 billion and creating and/or saving roughly 1,400 jobs. The top five so far in 2023 are:

  • Huber Engineered Woods in Noxubee County: $418 million
  • Hood Industries in Perry County: $217 million
  • PACCAR in Lowndes County: $209 million
  • Clark Beverage Company in Madison County: $100 million
  • Cold-Link Logistics in Jones County: $64 million

On election night, Governor Reeves told reporters that he was going to focus his second term on bringing even more higher paying jobs to the state.

“I’m hopeful that we’re going to make some announcements in the next three to six months that are gamechangers because, look, the fact is companies all across the country and all across the globe are looking at Mississippi now,” Reeves said. “And so, I’m going to work with our legislative leaders, Lt. Governor Hosemann… with our incoming Speaker, we’re going to work together with our legislative leaders to continue to invest in our people, job creation, to continue to invest in workforce development and workforce training. That’s really what we’re going to focus on over the next four years.”

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. 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: