Consultants urge TAP Alliance to build on regional assets

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

BOONEVILLE – A consulting firm says that working together with a regional focus is the key to maximizing the potential of Tishomingo, Alcorn and Prentiss counties, the coalition that forms the TAP Alliance.
In Tuesday’s rollout of the region’s economic development study, Del Boyette of Boyette Strategic Advisors urged everyone to adopt a regional attitude.
About 50 public officials, economic development specialists, industrial recruiters and private sector leaders attended the presentation at Northeast Mississippi Community College.
“This region has real potential and with the regional approach you’re already pursuing you’re on the road to success,” Boyette said. “Moving forward you need to talk about yourselves as a region of 80,000 rather than the population of your own county.”
The objective of forming the TAP Alliance and working with Boyette consultants has been to increase capital investment and bring in more jobs, said Gary Chandler, president of The Alliance, the Alcorn County chamber of commerce and economic development organization.
“We’ve come a long way in a very short time since we began these talks,” Chandler said. “What we see today is that the real work is just beginning.”
The plan outlines a five-year strategy, but begins with some real assets in each of the partner counties, said Boyette team member Tracy Sharp.
A key recommendation for industrial recruitment is to promote three or four sites, with three already existing and one to be developed. The existing sites are:
– Northeast Mississippi Waterfront Industrial Park, Burnsville (Tishomingo County): About 900 acres.
– U.S. Highway 45 site, Corinth (Alcorn County): About 40 acres.
– West Prentiss County site: About 40 acres.
A new site needed for the portfolio would be about 400 acres, possibly near U.S. Highway 45.
The plan details recommendations in eight areas for the TAP Alliance – organization structure and staffing; real estate; marketing and communications; business retention and expansion; business recruitment; education and work force development; entrepreneurship; incentives; retail and hotel development; and broadband access.
“This is a five-year strategy and you have to go into it with that attitude,” Boyette said. “You have to focus on your assets, strengths and opportunities and pursue them diligently.”
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662)287-9822 or lena.mitchell@journalinc.com.