Parmida LED Technologies to create 20 jobs in IndianolaBy BRYAN DAVIS PUBLISHER,
When Parmida LED Technologies began exploring opportunities to expand toward the eastern part of the United States more than a year ago, Mississippi was definitely not on the company’s radar.
But the e-commerce company’s leaders and siblings Peyman Mahrou and Parmida Mahrou received a letter about 13 months ago, inviting them to come and explore the Mississippi Delta.
Parmida, which has locations in California and Canada, signed an agreement with Sunflower County on Tuesday afternoon, solidifying the company’s commitment to occupy a little over 100,000 square feet in the old Modern Line building on Second Street in Indianola, bringing its latest North American distribution and e-commerce operations center to the city.
The company guaranteed the Mississippi Development Authority, which is providing a CAP Loan and block grant to help with the renovation of the building, a minimum of 20 jobs for what will be a distribution facility for its LED lights.
“We’re anticipating more jobs,” Parmida Vice President Peyman Mahrou said, adding that he hopes the company will be able to expand into more areas outside of distribution like sales and marketing.
Parmida will invest about $1 million into the initial project, a release from MDA said.
“Parmida’s decision is further evidence that we are a strong state for companies with distribution and e-commerce needs,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “Mississippi’s skilled and dedicated workforce makes our state an elite destination to do business, and I wish the company many years of success in the Mississippi Delta.”
Parmida was recognized in 2017 as one of the fastest growing companies in the Amazon ecosystem, MDA said. Its new e-commerce and distribution operations will serve the East Coast and Central U.S. markets.
“Parmida’s new location in Indianola coupled with the region’s dedicated workforce will serve the company well in Mississippi for many years,” said MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr. in a statement Tuesday. “We salute the effective teamwork of the Sunflower County Economic Development District, the Sunflower County Board of Supervisors and Delta Strong, which, along with MDA, was instrumental in bringing Parmida and 20 new career opportunities to the Mississippi Delta.”
That letter that arrived on their desk in 2018 came from Delta Strong, an economic development organization that recruits leads for 19 counties across the Delta.
“It definitely did not jump into my mind,” said Parmida Mahrou, when asked what she thought about Mississippi when the company received that letter. “This is definitely the best choice for us. It serves us because we are so nationwide.”
Soon after receiving the letter, the company did a Skype interview with economic development officials and later paid its first visit to Mississippi and shortly after began the process of finding a home in the Delta.
“Every single visit was eye-opening,” Peyman Mahrou said. “Everyone was intelligent, bright, kind, effective and mainly invested in the community, and I thought, “This might be the right place for us.’”
He said that his view of Mississippi had been shaped mostly by what he had heard about the state from afar, but those views quickly changed.
“Traveling through the Mississippi Delta and spending time here has proven an eye-opening experience for us. There seems to exist two Mississippis in the United States, the one I was told about and the one I’ve had the opportunity to become acquainted with – a land steeped in history and rich in passionate, intelligent and dependable people, many of whom I now consider great friends,” said Peyman Mahrou.
He credits a team effort in Parmida’s decision to put down roots in Indianola.
“We are grateful to Delta Strong who spent much of the last year introducing us to and guiding us through the multitude of business opportunities that exist here in the region,” Peyman Mahrou said. “The city of Indianola, Sunflower County, the Mississippi Development Authority and Governor Bryant have shown great commitment to supporting businesses that choose Mississippi. We will repay them for their efforts by focusing on growth and building opportunities in the Delta whilst engaging with, and giving back to, the community. We’re proud to call the Mississippi Delta home.”
Parmida’s expansion into Sunflower County represents one of the largest economic development announcements locally since Delta Strong was formed just a few years ago.
Sunflower County Economic Development District Director Frederick Washington took over his post in January and worked on the second leg of this project.
“This means we’re going to have new jobs in Sunflower County,” Washington said. “They are looking to expand here.”
Washington said he hopes the announcement will help boost community morale and start a new trend of jobs announcements in the county.
“We expect other companies to follow suit,” he said. “The building they are going into is a multi-tenant building, more of an industrial condo concept.”
It is not known at this time exactly when Parmida will be fully operational in Indianola.
The county will be taking bids for design and engineering next week, said Sunflower County Board of Supervisors Attorney Johnny McWilliams.
He said further advertisement and bidding will go on for the renovation project, which he expects to take up to four months once underway.
He is hopeful Parmida will be moved in and operating in the building by early 2020, but there’s no definite date at this time.
McWilliams said there are about 300,000 additional square feet in the Modern Line building that could be occupied in the future through a potential Parmida expansion or by other companies.