The Port of Gulfport is continuing its expansion project and estimates they will finish by 2016, but according to the regulations of the half billion dollar grant funding the project, the port must create or maintain over 2,000 jobs by 2015.
If new tenants cannot move into their space until 2016, penalties or fines may take effect until the jobs are created. Looking at the current timeline, Governor Phil Bryant says deadlines are important, but this one may need to be pushed back. In the meantime, he's doubling his efforts to get new tenants to the port as quickly as possible.
Bryant says, "We are working awful hard. I was meeting with another business yesterday. There are so many businesses in Mississippi that ship their products out of Mobile and New Orleans, and what we're doing just now is going to those businesses and trying to educate them on the Port of Gulfport, and most of those that I've talked to have said, ‘We didn't know about it. We'd love to come down and talk to you.’ We've got some very good things on the horizon and I think we're going to get there."
Because the port is a state entity, Governor Bryant is ultimately responsible for the port meeting the job quota in time.