TAP to work on development strategy

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

The Appalachian Regional Commission has awarded a $37,300 grant to the TAP Alliance for an economic development assessment.
The economic develop-ment partnership includes Tishomingo, Alcorn and Prentiss counties, which seek to develop a regional economic development strategy with the assistance of Tennessee Valley Authority and other economic development experts.
“Everything has sort of been on hold until we found out if we got the grant,” said TAP Alliance President Brandon Grissom of Tishomingo County.
The grant, announced this week, will pay to engage a consultant who will lead the group through a series of steps that ultimately should bring new industry to the region.
“The consultant comes into an area, looks at the three counties’ resources and sees what types of industries we could draw to this area, then helps us recruit them,” Grissom said.
In an earlier meeting with the Northeast Mississippi Planning and Development District, Grissom said TAP Alliance members were told a regional approach, and leaders who are committed to it, will strengthen the area’s appeal to companies in their site selection process.
The TVA Economic Development group will actively support these counties in their industrial recruiting and marketing plans and provide technical and community development programs, which will help the communities implement the recommendations resulting from the analysis.
The TAP Alliance is patterned after the PUL Alliance, which is made up of representatives from Pontotoc, Union, Lee counties. That group built an automotive manufacturing megasite and attracted the Toyota plant.
NEMPDD as the group’s fiscal and administrative agent prepared the application for the ARC grant, which will be combined with a local match of $16,050, for a project total of $53,350.
“Now that we’re certain about this grant, we’ll probably schedule a meeting in early August to go ahead with getting the consultant,” Grissom said.
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.