Meridian, Miss., the “Strategic Center of the South,” is a regional draw for jobs, retail, culture and health care.
Meridian and its surrounding counties continue to attract workers and customers in retail, health care and manufacturing, strengthening a region that encompasses East Mississippi and West Alabama.
Location, Transportation, Military
Based on Meridian’s location, it’s no surprise that the region it anchors is known as the “Strategic Center of the South”. Residents and businesses have easy access to Interstates 20 and 59; U.S. Highways 11, 45 and 80; and State Highways 19, 39, 145 and 493. The city also has its own air transportation.
Meridian Regional Airport offers daily flights to Atlanta and boards approximately 2,000 travelers a month. The airport is home to Key Field, which boasts the state’s longest public-use runway. Key Field houses Mississippi Air National Guard 186th Air Refueling Wing and Army National Guard 185th Army Aviation Support Facility.
The city’s largest employer is Meridian Naval Air Station, with more than 4,000 workers. Other leading employers include Rush Health Systems, East Mississippi State Hospital, Meridian Public School District, Anderson Regional Medical Center, Lauderdale County Schools and the City of Meridian.
Mississippi Power’s new lignite plant, under construction in Kemper County (30 minutes north of Meridian), will add to the region’s economic prowess. Serving 187,000 customers, the plant will feature a unique process that turns coal into gas for energy using the region’s plentiful supply of lignite – an element that falls between peat and bituminous coal.
Eclectic Industry Leaders
Mitchell Distributing, a family-owned distributor and wholesaler of Anheuser-Busch products, is headquartered in Meridian.
Southern Pipe and Supply Co., founded in 1938, also makes its home base here. The company is one of the nation’s largest private-independent wholesalers of plumbing, heating and air-conditioning materials and operates locations in six other states.
Van Zyverden Inc. began as a small business in the Netherlands. Today, it ships hundreds of millions of bulbs to all states in the U.S. and Canada, making it one of the world’s largest wholesale flower bulb distributors.
Asurion Corp. (formerly N.E.W.) operates a large call center in Meridian for its mobile-device insurance operations.
Product manufacturers play a big role in East Mississippi’s business community, making goods ranging from adhesive products and musical equipment to aeronautics and steel. Leading companies include Avery, Structural Steel Services Inc., Magnolia Steel, Lockheed Martin, Atlas Roofing, Southern Cast Products, Newell Paper, Sara Lee Bakery and Tower Automotive.
Malls in Meridian
Bonita Lakes Mall, which houses more than 100 stores and four major department stores, provides consumers with lots of shopping options. Specialty shops, restaurants, eateries and a theater are located on site. Meridian Crossroads, a recent development, sits on 375,000 acres of space where approximately 30 businesses reside.
Discover more on business in Meridian, Miss.