State of the Coast Economy Symposium

Nearly 500 business professionals and Coast leaders filled the IP Casino this morning for the third annual State of the Coast Economy Symposium.

They received plenty of statistics on how we’ve done this past year and how we can improve the future of South Mississippi.

Mississippi has had its ups and downs when it comes to economics in the past with the recession, the BP oil spill, and most recently the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway.

At the State of the Coast Economy Symposium, State Economist Dr. Darrin Webb explained recent data shows improvements. “The fact that we have seen growth despite those issues, I think is very remarkable and speaks well. These are relatively temporary issues that are going to pass and then you are in an environment where the economy is growing.”

Latest projections suggested 2019 would nearly duplicate 2018’s state economic growth if not for the Delta flooding.

More locally here on the Coast, we are rising past state levels. Dr. Webb said, “Some of the more recent data actually shows that 2019 is an up year for the Coast particularly in regard to tourism. Tourism seems very strong and I think that bodes well for the Coastal economy.”

So, despite our setbacks we are still moving forward. Unprecedented opportunities are on the horizon as well with nearly two billion dollars moving into South Mississippi over the next 15 years with the funds from the BP oil spill settlement and other Coast programs.

These statistics give hope to Coast leaders including Anthony Wilson, the chairman of the Gulf Coast Business Council and president of Mississippi Power. “Coastal Mississippi is really excited about coming together and having a plan to move us in a direction that will be great for our kids and our grandkids. So, we are going to have to be resilient once again and I have all the confidence in the world that we will do that, come together and use the opportunities that we have before us to make this a better place.”

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