The state of the city: Our current is strong!
Published 2:00 pm Saturday, July 23, 2022
Thursday night was an exciting night as we shared news of the Natchez Renewal and how, like the river, our Natchez Current is strong, steadily moving forward, together toward a common goal.
As has been reported, the atmosphere was “festive and grateful”. And we have good reason to celebrate: record numbers in new businesses, jobs, real estate sales, building permits, and even sales taxes. With over 180 new businesses since July, 2020, our job count is steadily growing – JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!
Loss Prevention Services says they are running out of space, Southern Designs is expanding their footprint, Delta Fuel has almost doubled, and Jordan Carriers, celebrating 30 years in business this month, has added close to 80 commercial truck drivers since January and expect to add another 80 by year’s end. And as if that isn’t enough, Jordan will be breaking ground next month on a new 28,000 square foot headquarters, right here in Natchez! Indeed.com is currently posting over 600 job opportunities in Natchez, and at our Industrial Park every inch of formerly available land is now under contract, a great problem to have.
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Real Estate is still booming in Natchez, and we are quickly running out of houses to sell! With close to 700 houses selling in the past two years, we currently have less than 100 houses for sale countywide, and only 28 available downtown. With our overall Adams County population of 30,000 and growing, these numbers spell success and opportunity – time to build more!
Building permits have hit record highs. We thought last year’s count, 250, was impressive. The Natchez Renewal has now added over 1,300 building permits in two years, up over 1,000 since last year, valued at over $53 million in new construction! And sales taxes are equally impressive. Last year we were celebrating history as we were posting record numbers. Today, we are $300,000 ahead of where we were last year, and Natchez is continuing to hold its place as one of the fastest growing economies in Mississippi! On a per capita basis, we are now ahead of many cities we once lagged behind, cities like Jackson, Vicksburg, Biloxi, Southaven, Brandon, Gulfport, and even college towns like Starkville and Cleveland – and we are gaining on Oxford!
With tourism booming, workforce development happening, and recreational renewal rapidly taking place, our future is bright. And crime is down across the board. I couldn’t be more proud of our police department, fire department, and all who work so hard to keep our community safe!
So many things were discussed, announced, and shared Thursday that it’s impossible to cover it all in this column. I would encourage anyone wanting to watch the speech to visit the city’s website – it’s on our homepage, www.natchez.ms.us. There you can also find the outline to the State of the City Address and read about all of the great things we have to celebrate. I am especially excited about the many things about to happen – to include MED Natchez, our Medical Economic Development Plan, now available for download on our website, exciting news on cruise boats, The Eola, and Southern Airways, plans for millions in renovations to city properties, the Convention Center, City Auditorium and our streets!
Most importantly, you’ll learn about our strategy for conquering the pending national recession by marketing Natchez as America’s Most Affordable City and bringing back our Shift South campaign to attract remote workers to Natchez.
God has blessed us. And I am so grateful to our many partners, too many to count, who have helped make the Natchez Renewal a reality. Just as the river flows, so must we. Together, we are unstoppable and our opportunities are endless. Because Natchez Deserves More.
Dan M. Gibson is mayor of Natchez.