Chamber, EDA make perfect fit for center

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 24, 2002

We’re constantly amazed at some of our local leaders’ inability to see beyond the moment. For some reason they get caught up in the present and can’t seem to plan for the future.

A prime example of this occurred last week after discussions between the City of Natchez, the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce and the Natchez-Adams County Economic and Community Development Authority.

Quietly, the groups have discussed options that would bring the Chamber and the EDA under one roof – namely filling office space inside the new convention center.

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The idea makes perfect sense.

Other successful communities have learned the value of working together. And often, that means having the same agencies working side by side – literally.

In addition to the benefits of having two of our community’s most important groups working together, allowing the Chamber and EDA to fill that office space will do something more. It will soothe the minds of many downtown merchants who do not want the city to fill the vacant space with potential retail competition. Given the state of the economy, the last thing the city needs is to hinder the city’s business community.

Moving the two groups into the convention center seems like a good move, but when the issue was brought up, some of our leaders hesitated, expressing their primary goal was to finish the convention center.

With millions of dollars already invested and a considerable portion of the construction complete, the convention center construction should be well on the way to completion.

As the project steams ahead, shouldn’t the community be looking at the bigger picture?