When it comes to economic development, Mississippi communities are often edged out of the competition when companies consider where to establish or expand their businesses.
But Entergy Mississippi’s economic development team has set out to change that. Through the new Excellerator Competitive Communities Program, we recently awarded more than $125,000 in grants to support economic development.
Why? Because we’re only as successful as the communities we serve.
As a regulated utility, Entergy Mississippi is limited to growth within its service area. To foster that growth, we need to bring in new business, as well as provide support for existing businesses. We can encourage that and the economic development health of our communities by improving the competitiveness of our entire 45-county service area. It’s a win for all involved.
The Excellerator program collaborates with communities to improve their competitiveness. They already have advantages like proximity to major waterways and interstate systems, low cost of living and low utility rates.
But that’s not enough. With Entergy’s expertise and financial support, these communities can improve their site readiness, marketing and other key areas that will help them stand out to prospective businesses.
In addition to assessments and grants, we’ll offer training and workshops to all counties in our service area. Our economic development team will conduct community assessments annually so communities can prepare for the grant cycle each year.
The Excellerator program includes three different grant categories, focused on increasing competitiveness, leadership capacity and organizational excellence. They are reimbursement grants--paid once the county meets certain verifiable criteria.
In its first year, the program will fund projects in these 10 communities: Adams, Desoto, Hinds, Holmes, Montgomery, Pike, Rankin, Tunica, Walthall and Washington counties.
Even though a full assessment of the program’s success won’t be possible until all projects are complete, based on the communities’ proposals, both site readiness and marketing competitiveness should improve.
But beyond that, we’re hopeful the program creates goodwill between Entergy and its communities. The Excellerator program is about more than our commitment to enhancing economic development. We’re investing in our communities so customers can have opportunities without having to leave the state. Through this program, we’re helping people stay and thrive right here at home.
Economic development is a critical part of Entergy’s effort to power a brighter future for our customers. We’re investing in workforce development and key tools to help our communities grow. Learn more about economic development at Entergy.
Director, Business & Economic Development, Entergy Mississippi