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McCullough quoted in Spotlight Mississippi feature article in the Scotsman Guide


The Magnolia State is betting on cars, tourism and gambling

With a long growing season and fertile river-nurtured soil, Mississippi has long depended on agriculture, which still plays an important role in the state's economy. But industrial employment topped agricultural jobs beginning in the 1960s and, more recently, the Magnolia State has bolstered its economic base with the addition of automobile and auto-parts manufacturing companies, casino gambling and a growing tourism industry.

The diversification has changed the state, but it has not been enough to overcome troublesome economic realities that have plagued Mississippi and its 3 million residents for decades. The state's per-capita personal income of $35,444 ranked last among the states in 2015, and the growth rate of its gross domestic product last year ranked second from last — after registering declines in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014. Government is the largest source of jobs in the state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The federal government supports a high-tech hub at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, near the Louisiana border. There, NASA and its contractors employ more than 5,000 people at the agency's largest rocket-testing center.

Other Southern states entered the car-making business earlier, but in 2003 Mississippi landed a Nissan auto-manufacturing plant — located in Canton. Today, the facility employs 6,300, the state's largest private-sector payroll. Toyota has a plant in the state as well, in Blue Springs, and auto-parts manufacturers dot the state. There are other transportation-related manufacturing operations in Mississippi, including a General Electric jet-engine plant in Batesville and a shipbuilding facility in Pascagoula that is owned by Huntington Ingalls.

More than 37,000 farms occupy 10.9 million acres in the state. Poultry, Mississippi's most lucrative agricultural commodity, generated $3.2 billion in revenue in 2015; and cotton farming, once a mainstay of the state's economy, still produces about a quarter-billion dollars in revenue yearly. Historically, Mississippi's status as a right-to-work state with relatively low union membership has been touted in government economic-development efforts. This year, the state Legislature also approved tax breaks and other subsidies to support a Continental Tire plant in Clinton and a Topship LLC shipyard in Gulfport.

Click here to see the full Digital Edition of the Featured Article in the September 2016 Issue of the Scotsman Guide

By Micah McCullough, CCIM

McCullough, is responsible for the overall company operation and strategy, which includes approximately 400,000 SF of Office, Retail, & Industrial Properties with an estimated market value of $30 Million. He is accountable for brokerage services, asset management, acquisitions and development. He has completed over 100 commercial real estate transactions totaling over $50 Million.


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