Tupelo, MS Business Opportunities

May 9, 2014 at 6:00 am EST
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A job well done is often the case in Tupelo, where the business sector benefits from pro-business community leaders, a good location, strong transportation network and ready construction sites. Here is some background:

Location and Transportation

Tupelo’s location at the intersection of U.S. Highways 45 and 78 allows trucking companies to be roughly equidistant from Memphis, Tenn. and Birmingham, Ala. to the west and east, and Nashville, Tenn., and Jackson, Miss., to the north and south. Interstate transportation is also facilitated by two rail lines (Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Kansas City Southern) and Tupelo Regional Airport.

Education and Workforce Training

Tupelo residents have several higher education choices, including Itawamba Community College, whose assets include a Belden Center campus that offers several workforce training curriculums. Also available to students are the University of Mississippi-Tupelo and Mississippi University for Women, and only an hour’s drive away are the University of Mississippi in Oxford and Mississippi State in Starkville.

Expansions

Several companies have announced expansions, including HM Richards, which is adding 800 jobs in Guntown. The largest furniture builder in Northeast Mississippi added a production line in 2013 and hired hundreds of upholsterers, frame assemblers, sewing machine operators and top-stitchers.

In addition, General Atomics added 80 jobs and invested $11 million at its Shannon plant to manufacture equipment for the defense, nuclear, oil and energy storage industries, and Tecumseh invested $10 million and will add 150 jobs over the next five years at its Verona site, where workers manufacture air compressor products.

Banking

Tupelo has been home to two national banks' headquarters for more than 100 years, and both recently made significant acquisitions. BancorpSouth merged in 2014 with Central Community Corporation (Texas) as well as Ouachita Bancshares Corp. (Louisiana), with all banks taking the BancorpSouth name. Renasant Bank acquired Mississippi-based First M&F Corp. in 2014, which vaulted Renasant to $5.8 billion in total assets.

Retail and Urban Development

The Mall at Barnes Crossing features a 600-seat food court, movie theater and more than 90 stores, with annual mall sales regularly reaching more than $175 million. Tupelo Furniture Market features 2 million square feet of space showcasing 800-1,000 exhibitors from around the globe, while the Downtown and Fairpark District features a developing 50-acre site next to downtown Tupelo for stores, restaurants, office space and living space.

Midtown District has formed an association to represent 20 Tupelo businesses bordered by South Industrial Road, West Main Street, South Gloster Street and Varsity Drive. And Midtown Pointe has become a medical and professional office building with plans to add a restaurant, fitness center and coffee shop. In Belden, a two-building complex called McCullough Crossing will feature professional offices, a pharmacy, restaurant, dry cleaner and sandwich shop.

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City Accolades

Our town has a unique sense of civic pride, generosity and hospitality that sets us apart from anywhere else. I am proud to call the City of Tupelo home and hope that you will be too.

Jason Shelton, Tupelo mayor