We’ve seen it work; make it happen

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 19, 1999

We’ve seen how it can work … now we need to make it happen. &uot;It&uot; is economic development.

And leaders on both sides of the Mississippi River got a first-hand look last week at a model of success in economic development: the Community Development Foundation in Tupelo.

The foundation has brought more than 200 businesses to Tupelo – tangible successes that came as the result of private sector commitment, strong leadership and hard work.

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And many of the local economic development leaders who took part in that long – but worthwhile – bus trip last week have the same ability to lead and similar capacities for making serious commitments.

Now, it’s up to us – private and public sector leaders – to make it happen.

With the pending restructuring of the Natchez-Adams County Economic Development Authority, chamber of commerce and business leaders in both Natchez and Concordia Parish are taking a renewed interest in the future of economic development efforts.

The atmosphere is ripe for a reevaluation of our focus and the interjection of new ideas, new approaches and new enthusiasm for economic development.

It’s a topic that bears discussion once again – and not just among the government leaders whose boards fund the EDA.

And it’s a topic that bears discussion now.

Just as the mayor’s bus trip to tour convention centers helped build consensus for the Natchez project, so can this Tupelo trip be used to stir discussion and build consensus among economic development leaders.

We challenge them to step forward, open the discussion and make the needed changes in our approach to developing our futures.