A sign of the things to come


Delta Strong had a busy day on Tuesday.

It was the kind of day that gives hope that the Delta region is finally getting the looks it deserves when it comes to economic development.

For years, companies have leaned toward other areas of the state for relocation and expansion – places like the Golden Triangle where Columbus, West Point and Starkville have become a national model for economic development.

Those cities have earned every job they have gotten through hard work and due diligence.

They are also fortunate enough to be located in a region that has certified TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) Megasites, which constitute large acreages of undeveloped, yet shovel ready properties.

When Delta Strong was formed, it sought to make the Delta more competitive with those communities, and while we haven’t landed a 2,000-job tire plant, we are starting to see some of the fruits from the recruitment labor.

On Tuesday morning, Delta Strong and the Mississippi Development Authority announced a 50-job project in Clarksdale, where Chicago-based Images Industries plans to relocate its operation to Coahoma County.

The day culminated at the B.B. King Museum, where Delta Strong, MDA and Sunflower County Economic Development officials announced that Parmida Group plans to locate its Southeastern distribution facility at the Modern Line building on Second Street in Indianola.

Parmida has guaranteed MDA a minimum of 20 jobs that will be created starting out, and the company’s leaders Peyman Mahrou and Parmida Mahrou said they hope that number ends up being much higher.

In fact, they spoke with The E-T after the announcement saying they hoped to bring more aspects of their multifaceted company to Sunflower County.

It is significant that two companies announced expansion or relocation in the Delta in one eight-hour period.

Sunflower County has gone a long time without a major industrial announcement.

That is in spite of the fact that local leaders and economic development officials have put in the educational infrastructure necessary to make deals like this get to the closing table.

Sunflower County, along with most of the other 19 Delta Strong counties, is an ACT Work Ready community, which means we have a large labor pool to draw from, and companies can look and see how many of the ACT Work Ready people have the certifications they need to fill jobs.

The biggest hurdle has been getting companies to look.

Hopefully, Parmida’s entrance into the Delta and Sunflower County is a sign that more companies are opening their eyes to what the Delta has to offer.

When Peyman Mahrou talked on Tuesday, he didn’t compliment the county and state on its business-friendly environment. He didn’t talk about the great tax incentives his company received to come to Mississippi.

He talked about the 25-and-30-year long relationships he saw between the different people in our community. Small town business and relationships were things he said he had not been exposed to in the company’s other locations in California and Toronto.

There are so many benefits to doing business in the Delta other than great tax incentives. We simply have great people in this region, and many are ready to go to work, given the opportunity.

Parmida Group is a great start for what is hopefully a long string of wins for Sunflower County.


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