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Parish industrial sites promoted in new website

VIDALIA — Economic development officials hope a soon-to-be launched website promoting Concordia Parish will help attract new industries to the area.

Concordia Parish Economic and Industrial District Executive Director Heather Malone said her office is in the final stages of completing a marketing campaign that includes launching a new website complete with interactive mapping resources.

“We have two main target areas we want to focus on with the website,” Malone said. “Of course we want to target site selectors and different industries and build a website to accommodate their needs for how they look for available sites or spots.

“But we also want to promote the quality of life and tourism through the website and highlight what we have here to offer those folks outside of work — schools, recreation and everything else.”

Malone said Marketing Alliance of Jackson is creating the group’s website as well as an identity and branding campaign that includes a new logo.

“Their whole niche is economic development and that’s what they build websites around, so we felt confident using them,” Malone said. “Ever since I began here, I’ve been saying I’ve wanted to get a logo, brand ourselves and have a website.

“Five years later, here we are.”

Malone said the company is charging approximately $11,000 for the website and branding services.

Funding to pay for the project, Malone said, is coming from a mix of local municipality and business contributions. Local municipalities, such as the City of Vidalia and the Concordia Parish Police Jury contributed $5,000, and Malone said she is finalizing the list of businesses she hopes to begin visiting by the end of the month for additional funds.

“We ended up getting a little more than $11,000 from public entities, so we’re going to seek that from private as well,” Malone said. “If we receive more than that that’s wonderful, but that’s what we’re aiming for.”

Once the money from private businesses is collected to match the public money, Malone said $5,000 will be taken out and reserved for a joint marketing campaign with the Miss-Lou Regionalism Steering Committee.

The steering committee is composed of business and civic leaders from Natchez and Adams County, Concordia Parish, Ferriday and Vidalia.

That campaign, Malone said, would include a separate website to promote the Miss-Lou.

“We haven’t totally decided how that website is going to work yet, but we have a few ideas,” Malone said. “We’re thinking about it being more of a home page for regionalism that links back to each of our own websites.

“Either way, we didn’t want to hold up the Concordia Parish website, so we went ahead and got that done first.”

If the estimated amount of funding is gathered from private businesses to match the public funds, Malone said, approximately $6,000 would remain that the group would use for a variety of expenses including other marketing expenses and client development.

“We’ll have some other marketing expenses with our new logo like letterheads, business cards and other advertising needs we haven’t necessarily planned out yet,” Malone said. “We also want to have some funds for client development that would give us the opportunity to get out and visit with clients.”

Malone said the new website would still use the group’s current address, www.concordiaed.com.