Don’t Miss Out on Mississippi

From metropolitan hubs to pastoral landscapes, Mississippi offers a broad range of business locations without losing its charming Southern spirit.

Tucked down in the Southern swatch of the United States, Mississippi is a sprawling stretch of lowlands and coastal plains, speckled with lakes and zigzagged by a network of rivers, including its powerful, serpentine namesake. Its southern border lies on the Gulf of Mexico, allowing indispensable port access, and its state boundaries rest alongside Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee.

The Magnolia State offers some of the lowest living costs in the United States. In 2006, its total state product was $84 billion and, while its per capita personal income was only $26,908, Mississippi’s residents rank near the top of the nation’s most charitable. This giving spirit helps ensure businesses feel welcome as soon as they choose to locate in Mississippi.

Here are two communities—one rather rural, one more urban—that highlight the diversity of this Southern business solution.

Rankin’s Economic Action in Jackson

A thriving location at the center of “the crossroads of the South” and a part of metropolitan Jackson, MS, Rankin County enjoys all the benefits of living in a metropolitan area without the headache that comes with big city life. Being one of the fastest growing counties in Mississippi, Rankin offers all of the best in community life, education, employment, housing, and outstanding quality of living.

Rankin County is a choice location for the automotive industry and is within 30 minutes of the newly constructed, $1-billion Nissan manufacturing plant in Canton, MS, and seven tier-one Nissan suppliers. Numerous auxiliary suppliers also have located or are locating in the Jackson metro area.

The Mississippi Nissan plant, which is located on a 1,445-acre site, encompasses 2 million square feet and has the capacity to produce 250,000 vehicles per year, including a full-size pickup truck, a full-size sports utility vehicle, and the next generation Nissan minivan.

Rankin County is ideally suited to be the home for tier-one suppliers due to its availability of industrial parks and industrial property with existing infrastructure. Additionally, a large skilled labor pool that does not compete for labor with the Nissan plant or its nearby suppliers, an indefatigable work ethic, and a pro-business attitude combine to make Rankin a top automotive destination. Not only does it offer the proximity to serve the Nissan manufacturing facility, but it is also less than one day’s drive to every major auto manufacturing facility in the Southeastern and Southwestern U.S.

Two major thoroughfares, Interstate 20 (running east and west from Texas to South Carolina) and Interstate 55 (running north and south from Illinois through Louisiana), intersect in Jackson. A third artery, Interstate 220, connects Interstate 20 west of Jackson and Interstate 55 north of Jackson. US Highways 49, 51 and 80 also intersect in Jackson and connect the metro area with the Gulf of Mexico and the contiguous states of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee. State highways and the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway wind through the metropolitan area and connect with numerous county roads to complete this excellent roadway system. Over 100 intrastate and interstate trucking firms are located in metro Jackson, giving the area the means to transport freight overnight to destinations within 500 miles.

Located near the center of the Jackson metropolitan area and the home of Jackson International Airport, Rankin County also is fast becoming the go-to area for shopping, dining, and other commercial and retail development.

Rankin ranks third in the state of Mississippi for generation of sales tax revenues, and there are several prime commercial areas in the county located near the major housing developments in the Jackson metropolitan area. No matter what type of business you operate, Rankin County is the place to do business in and around Jackson.

The Jackson International Airport, located five miles east of the city, is a United States Customs port of entry and a designated foreign trade zone (FTZ 158). The airport is served by two parallel 8,500-foot runways and an all-weather Category III precision-approach landing system, and is attended 24 hours a day. Aircraft fuel, repairs and charters are available through a full-service, fixed-base operator. Rental cars, restaurants, and ramp and warehouse facilities for airfreight haulers also are available. Eight airlines provide 40 non-stop flights per day to 10 cities, and the airport is home to two air cargo carriers. Situated on 3,343 acres, the airport has more than 1,200 acres allocated for economic development opportunities. Currently under construction at the airport is the Mississippi Air Cargo Logistics Center. This is a segmented project that ultimately will provide 450,000 square feet of warehouse space with direct access to four-lane Highway 475 three miles north of I-20. General aviation airports are located in Jackson, Madison, and Raymond.

With its sturdy links to the automotive industry, a growing retail sector and vast transportation routes, Rankin County is one of Mississippi’s premiere economic development destinations.

Jefferson Davis County: Rural, Reliable, and Ready to Grow

Jefferson Davis County, located in rural South Mississippi, is focused on the future. Positioned only 75 miles from the Nissan plant in Canton, 250 miles from the new Toyota plant in Blue Springs, and within 125 miles of the Ports of Gulfport and New Orleans, this county rests in the economic development growth corridor of the Southeastern United States. Buildings and sites are available for companies interested in expanding to a right-to-work state and to a community with a friendly, hometown atmosphere.

The county seat, Prentiss, is located at the crossroads of U.S. Highway 84 and U.S. Highway 42. Highway 84 connects the county to Interstate Highways I-59 and I-55, approximately 35 miles away. The second largest town in Jefferson Davis County, Bassfield, also is well positioned along U.S. Highways 42 and 35. The county’s location easily services the Southeast’s major cities of New Orleans, LA; Mobile, AL; Birmingham, AL; Memphis, TN; Baton Rouge, LA; Gulfport, MS; and Jackson, MS. With the Ports of New Orleans, Mobile, Pascagoula and Gulfport within a two-hour drive, the most active deep-water ports in the Northern Gulf of Mexico are within easy reach to service both national and international markets.

The Prentiss-Jeff Davis County Airport boasts a 3,200-foot runway with 24/7 accessibility and a convenient self-service fuel system, which supports private air traffic. Commercial air service is available at Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional (PIB), 45 miles southeast of Jefferson Davis County, and the Jackson Evers International Airport (JAN), approximately 60 miles north of Jefferson Davis County.

Jefferson Davis is Mississippi’s largest producer of natural gas and one of the largest in oil production. Drilling and production generate millions of dollars of income and tax revenue annually. Other industries include metal fabrication, pipeline construction and maintenance, forestry, and large animal health products manufacturing.

The following assets in the county represent a sampling of the great amenities this leading rural community has to offer:

The Longleaf Trace, a 41-mile “rails to trails” conservancy biking and walking path, has been widely recognized as one of the top ten trails in the United States. Hiking, biking, and equestrian enthusiasts, bird watchers and nature lovers enjoy the Trace from Prentiss to the University of Southern Mississippi’s campus in Hattiesburg. As the Trace meanders through the county, it provides a safe route in a natural environment for the promotion of tourism, economic development, physical fitness and healthy lifestyles for all ages. Creating aesthetic as well as economic value, many service-oriented businesses have developed successfully along the Trace.

Jefferson Davis Community Hospital provides 24/7 emergency care by physicians in a model rural healthcare environment. Physical therapy and rehabilitation services are available along with in-patient acute care, a full laboratory, and radiology services. Family practice clinics are available throughout the county.

The University of Southern Mississippi is located only 25 miles southeast of Jefferson Davis County. Three community colleges are within easy commuting distance, with Pearl River Community College Advanced Technology and Workforce Development Center providing training for businesses and industries. The Technical and Career Programs work directly with local industries to enhance the labor pool with a skilled competent workforce.

With its strategic location, easy access, mild winter climate, trained workforce, and pro-business tax structure, Jefferson Davis County is ready to welcome you.