We’re making history in Natchez

Published 8:00 am Sunday, August 22, 2021

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Historic economic development in Natchez – it’s time to say it.

It’s time to print it: based on current economic indicators, Natchez is now one of the fastest-growing economies in the state, and very likely the fastest growing on a per capita basis.

Consider just the past few days:

  • This week we received payment for our July sales tax of over $500,000. We have now surpassed $500,000 four months in a row – a city record and very likely the strongest sales tax performance in the state on a per capita basis.
  • On Aug. 11, we announced that a leading southern energy company, Delta Fuel, is moving their headquarters to downtown Natchez – over 50 high-paying jobs. They are now embarking upon a multi-million dollar renovation of the historic Callon Building.
  • On Aug. 16, we broke ground on a $1 million renovation of the historic depot on Broadway, soon to become the finest farm-to-table restaurant on the bluffs of the Mississippi River.
  • On Aug. 19, we celebrated the announcement of a $24 million renovation of the historic Eola Hotel in the heart of downtown Natchez, to include a parking garage, new downtown retail space, and the development of new restaurants by renowned NOLA Restaurateur Dickie Brennan.
  • Also on Aug. 19, we met in Jackson with Governor Tate Reeves, his economic development team, and the CEO and VP of Velocys, an international technology company, to discuss a deal that is now in the works to build a $1.5 billion bio refinery-plant at the Belwood Industrial Park – one of only two such facilities being built in America to produce sustainable aviation fuel using timber resources.

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In addition, we had a very significant meeting this week with one of the country’s leading consultant firms, the Horne Group, to discuss the final details of the MED Natchez Marketing Plan. Medical economic development, promoting Natchez as a regional “Healthcare Hub,” is about to take place, with a public reveal in September where we will release details of this extensive plan.

We also met this week with officials from the Mississippi Department of Agriculture to discuss international timber exports utilizing the port of Natchez. A follow-up meeting is taking place Aug. 30 with a visit to Natchez by Executive Director of the port of New Orleans Brandy Christian and her staff. Working closely with Natchez Port Director Anthony Hauer and the Adams County Board of Supervisors, great plans and opportunities are forthcoming.

When added to the fact that over the past year, we have seen record job growth (close to 700), record real estate sales (close to 600), record new business growth (over 70), and record new building permits (over 250 worth over $40 million), these facts tell a historic story. Natchez is booming. And as stated earlier, we are now among the fastest-growing economies in Mississippi.

Words are insufficient to express my gratitude. So many individuals, groups, entities and businesses have come together to make all of this possible. And I truly believe that God’s favor is upon our city because we are making a priority of working together and loving one another.

Way to go Natchez! Let’s pledge to keep this momentum going.

Natchez Deserves More.

Dan M. Gibson is Mayor of the City of Natchez.