Come learn about our one community

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 11, 2009

In the eight months I’ve been with Concordia Economic and Industrial Development District I’ve heard a lot of chatter about the importance of regionalism. I’ve attended several meetings where we have tried to figure out how to keep the Mississippi River from separating our community. Yes — I did say community instead of communities.

Whether you like it or not, we are considered one community, not only in the eyes of our fellow residents, but in the eyes of existing businesses and prospective businesses. I guarantee that most of you, if not all of you, utilize resources on both sides of the river. You may work, live, play or shop in Natchez-Adams County, and you may do one or several of the others in Concordia Parish. A success on one side of the river is a success on the other side of the river, and a failure on one side of the river is also a failure on the other side.

Going back to that unanswered question — How do we bridge the gap the river has created? The Ferriday, Natchez and Vidalia Chambers of Commerce hope to answer that question during a joint Chamber of Commerce meeting on Tuesday, June 23, at the Vidalia Conference & Convention Center.

Email newsletter signup

Ronnie Bryant, president/CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, will present the concept of regionalism across state lines.

The Charlotte Regional Partnership is unique in that it has formed an economic development partnership between North Carolina and South Carolina counties and they have proven to be very successful.

They have realized that a company does not look at municipal, county/parish or state lines when it is searching for the perfect site to expand or relocate its business. During Mr. Bryant’s presentation he will discuss how they developed this partnership and how it has positively impacted their entire region.

I am very excited to say that we are taking steps toward smearing the Miss/Lou line and admitting that we are indeed one community instead of two, three or four different communities.

I know Concordia Economic and Industrial Development will take this opportunity to join the chambers in this regional effort. I hope you and your organization will also join the chambers in taking this step forward by attending the joint Chamber luncheon, which will begin at 11:30 am.

Please contact the Ferriday, Natchez or Vidalia Chamber of Commerce to reserve your seat at the June 23, luncheon by June 17 to hear Mr. Bryant outline the concept of working across state and county lines.

There is a cost of $15 to attend the luncheon, and I promise it will be well worth your investment.

For more information about Ronnie Bryant and the Charlotte Regional Partnership visit

Heather L. MALONE is the director of Concordia Economic and Industrial Development District.