Natchez Inc. and Natchez Now should be thanked for economic development successes

Published 12:22 pm Thursday, October 5, 2023

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Last week, leaders in the business community in Natchez enjoyed a bus tour and visit to some of the our area’s leading economic development projects..

Those leaders are a part of Natchez Now, which for those who don’t know is a group of Miss-Lou private businesses that fund Natchez Inc., the economic development engine for Natchez and Adams County.

The businesses represented in Natchez Now contribute thousands of dollars of their private revenue — some tens of thousands of dollars — simply to fund our agency that works to attract and bring to reality economic development projects that create jobs in Natchez and Adams County.

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The money provided by Natchez Now doesn’t fund the effort alone. City and county government here also contribute taxpayer dollars to the effort, and state and even federal funding come into play with many of the projects Natchez Inc. has made happen here.

It takes years for an economic development project to come together from concept to reality. Much like the sausage-making required in government, the work done by Chander Russ, executive director at Natchez Inc., and his right-hand, Aimee Guido, is not visible or heralded while it happens. So much of the negotiations to purchase property, secure funding from private sources and government agencies and other legal requirements must remain confidential until a deal is complete. Rest assured, Russ and Guido and others involved are working tirelessly to bring the right companies and jobs to Natchez and Adams County. We know that because of the many, real successes Natchez Inc. have caused to happen here.

• More than 300 documented jobs created since 2020.

• $2.4 million in property taxes paid annually by new industries recruited to this area by Natchez Inc.

• More than 980 jobs created since 2010.

• $3.9 million in outside funding secured since 2020 for the completion of the Belwood levee, which will leave Adams County with one of the most developable pieces of property on the length of the Mississippi River.

• 685 existing industry jobs saved since 2019.

Just because you don’t see their names or hear about their work every day, don’t make the mistake of discounting Natchez Inc.’s effect on the lives of all of us here in Natchez and Adams County. Don’t believe it, talk to anyone at Jordan Carriers, Syrah Resources, Delta Fuel, Loss Prevention Services. Talk to any small business here in Natchez who benefitted greatly from Natchez Inc.’s successful work to keep Natchez businesses open during the pandemic and its Put Your Money Where Your Home Is campaign.

Natchez Inc., and Natchez Now which leads it, has been and is critical to the future of Natchez and Adams County.