Category Archives: Columbus

Columbus Hosts State Tourism Conference

CVB President Nancy Carpenter

CVB Exec Director Nancy Carpenter

The Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau snagged a big one this week, hosting the state tourism association’s spring conference. It’s always good to have a few hundred high-energy PR type people in our area – especially when they are cheerleaders for our state. The group will get to see first-hand how strong downtown Columbus is, and the exponential growth we have seen in the Golden Triangle in general over the last ten years.

Kudos for the CVB for getting them here…I’m sure all of our local businesses are grateful.

The conference – which runs through today – is one of the largest gatherings of tourism professionals in the state; it will bring more than 200 attendees to the city, according to a press release.

Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Nancy Carpenter told The Dispatch Monday that she’s attempted for several years to convince the MTA to bring the conference here: “This is a tremendous opportunity,” she said. “We’ve worked hard to make sure the town looks great, and it always does…We’re very proud of our city and very supportive.” Carpenter also said that the group holds major conferences in the fall and in the spring in various cities statewide.

“We are thrilled to host our spring conference in Columbus, and we encourage tourism industry leaders and professionals from around the state to join us …We know that gathering as an industry is an excellent way to expand our knowledge and connect with fellow professionals in the industry.”

  • Kappi Allen, MTA president and executive director of the Clarksdale Coahoma Tourism Bureau.

Carpenter commented that the conference provides a great way for new visitors, in particular, to learn more about Columbus, including international visitors.

Read more: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=48543#ixzz41kjwBowk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=48543

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Grenada Looks to Columbus Main Street for Inspiration

WCBI did a nice piece on a recent visit by Grenada city leaders to Columbus. The  downtown Columbus area grew by leaps and bounds in the mid 2000’s under the leadership of Jan Miller and Amber Brislin. Main Street Columbus has become the gold standard for the state, and now Director Barbara Bigelow is at the helm of the organization.

Bigelow had this to say:

Barbara Bigelow of Columbus Main Street (Image credit The Commercial Dispatch)

Barbara Bigelow of Columbus Main Street (Image credit: The Commercial Dispatch)

“Very often we forget what a jewel we have here and we are reminded when other people want to come and mimic our downtown and our community and do what we’ve done to make our communities better.”

 

WCBI has more on the story. Read the full article at the link below:

http://www.wcbi.com/local-news/video-grenada-leaders-learn-about-development-through-the-friendly-city/

 

 

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Hardee’s on 45 Gets a Great New Look Inspired by Columbus Itself

Hardee’s on 45 Gets a Great New Look Inspired by Columbus Itself

 

hardees starThe Hardee’s  on Hwy 45 recently held their Grand Re-opening, showcasing their newly-expanded and renovated dining room. The Columbus Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the event, which marked the culmination of a several-months-long expansion and complete remodeling of the dining area, which was extended by about ten feet. The interior was completely redesigned, and now includes a curvy seating section with large circular booths for families or other large groups; the addition of new tables in order to handle more customers at a time; and a raised “bar” section with stools, wi-fi, and outlets for laptops/chargers. Long-time patrons of the store will be glad to know that the restrooms have been totally redone, as well, and moved inside the actual main building. Imagery meant to evoke the city of Columbus itself – including a prominent mural representing The W– serves a distinctive feature of the venue.

I’d like to applaud the ownership group for their investment in improving and completely remodeling their property – it helps our community, and our tax base. As with a many other businesses featured on this blog, the ownership is all local. Their food in general – and especially their fresh-made, hot breakfast biscuits, have been a hit with locals for many years, now, as has their friendly, smiling staff. Come on out and give them a try sometime!

Image courtesy of www.hardees.com

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Mississippian Appointed Chairman of UPS

Mississippian Appointed Chairman of UPS

UPS CEO David Abney. Photo credit: UPS/courtesy image

UPS CEO David Abney.Photo credit: UPS/courtesy image

Mississippi’s own David Abney, who was born in Greenwood, worked his way to the top of international shipping giant UPS over the course of a long career, starting in 1974 in his hometown of Greenwood. Abney was recently elected as Chairman of the company by a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors. He also served as COO since 2007, CEO since 2014, and former President of UPS International. He is also a Trustee of The UPS Foundation, and Chairman of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta.

How does it help to have a local in that position? Abney will have first-hand knowledge of the ample warehouse facilities and inter-modal options in our great state (many of which are located in the Starkville-Columbus area). It’s not that he can necessarily influence business our way, but he will be a powerful voice in the company who can help get Mississippi to the table to compete. Any person of influence from the state helps – even in the smallest of ways. It might only be a small chance that he remembers a friend of a friend who told him about an affordable building for lease in rural Lowndes County…but, his small decisions at UPS have a lot of zeros behind them.

It is ALWAYS good for business to have friends in high places!

Some info courtesy of UPS Pressroom. Please click here for more information.

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Oby’s In Starkville Finishes “Best in State” for Sandwiches, Columbus’ United Deli Near Top

Oby’s In Starkville Finishes “Best in State” for Sandwiches, Columbus’ United Deli Near Top

Oby's Mufellata. Pic credit: Joe R. Bumgardner of eatjackson.com

Oby’s Mufellata. Pic credit: Joe R. Bumgardner of eatjackson.com

Best of the best??? The writers at the quirky site “only-in-your-state.com” picked Oby’s as the best sammich shop in Mississippi this past week. As a New Orleans native, I’ve been a big (in the waist) fan of the Cajun eatery for years now. Their hot roast beef, oyster po-boys and gumbo are hard to beat! Another favorite place to chow-down, United Deli in East Columbus, also topped the list. I’m so happy for my main man Mr. John. His Gyros and French Dips are second to none, and I think his french bread is the best you’re gonna find outside of Louisiana.

So proud for both of our local spots – any attention is good attention…and definitely good for business!!

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American Futures: Manufacturing Returns to Columbus, Mississippi

American Futures: Manufacturing Returns to Columbus, Mississippi

 

The Golden Triangle Development LINK is such a vital organization to our area. The premier economic development agency in the South, the LINK has brought nearly 5 billion dollars in business to the Golden Triangle in just over ten years. When big business does good, so does small business. Columbus, Starkville and West Point are lucky to have the best team in Mississippi working for us. Companies such as Steel Dynamics credit the GTR LINK with facilitating the complex process of incorporating in the area and running a business here. Locals who have found work at these newly-arrived major companies thank area schools such as EMCC for providing them with the skills needed to succeed and thrive there.

American Futures brings us a documentary about the rebirth of Colu,bus

American Futures brings us a documentary about the rebirth of Columbus

Here’s a piece the Atlantic did on the LINK recently, including a mini-documentary about the amazing revitalization of Columbus as a manufacturing nexus in the South:

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/460452/american-futures/

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Parks Key To Quality Of Life In Golden Triangle

Parks Key To Quality Of Life In Golden Triangle

probst park

Beautiful Probst Park in Columbus, MS gives us all room for play, sports, athletics, parties, and even just hanging around and enjoying the breeze. (click for full size)

In my travels as a real estate agent, I have seen the enormous impact that playgrounds and parks play in the market. Often overlooked by taxpayers, a strong parks and recreation system is a top item on checklists of potential buyers when moving into a market. In our region (and quite possibly the entire state of Mississippi), Columbus currently boasts the premier soccer complex, which has hosted several state-wide events. It has an ideal setting, nestled between historic downtown Columbus and the Riverwalk.

Starkville has a top-notch sportsplex in the center of town, but has recently began a movement to build a best-in-class facility, in order to attract more attention and tourists to the town. Mississippi State University already lends a hand hosting major events, and an additional complex outside of the school should prove to be valuable as the area continues to grow.

Nice, clean parks and facilities help potential buyers open their minds’ eye to imagine living in a community – playing, riding and enjoying a picnic. Parks also often provide a buffer between urban and rural areas of Columbus and Starkville, and provide a great public service to our residents – as well as to potential citizens. They help to make a brand-new city feel more like “home.”

WCBI has more on our growing park system :

“Our citizens, citizens everywhere pretty much have an expectation of having quality play spaces, parks that are accessible and facilities that offer not only enjoyment but opportunities to help themselves to personal health and wellness,” Starkville mayor Parker Wiseman said.

http://www.wcbi.com/local-news/video-sustaining-a-successful-parks-and-recreational-service/

 

CK

 

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Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science Students Scores Big

Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science Students Scores Big

 

Four students from a local high school have qualified for the U.S. Presidential Scholar Award, one of the most prestigious awards for academic achievement in the nation.

Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science students Dauttatreyo (Wrishi) Bandyopadhyay of Starkville; Nathan Barlow, of Starkville; Jason Necaise of Ridgeland; and Meilun Zhou of Oak Grove have been selected as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholar Award. Photo by: Courtesy photo

Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science students Dauttatreyo (Wrishi) Bandyopadhyay of Starkville; Nathan Barlow, of Starkville; Jason Necaise of Ridgeland; and Meilun Zhou of Oak Grove have been selected as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholar Award. Photo by: Courtesy photo

Who wouldda thunk it? The Golden Triangle of Mississippi, which is well-known throughout the Southeast for a booming industrial sector, sprawling farmlands, and tough-as-nails football players, is also home to one of the finest specialized high schools in the country. The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science (MSMS) is located on the picturesque campus of the Mississippi University for Women (MUW) in the heart of historic downtown Columbus.

Four MSMS students were selected for the Dauttatreyo (Wrishi) Bandyopadhyay of Starkville; Nathan Barlow of Starkville; Jason Necaise of Ridgeland; and Meilun Zhou of Oak Grove have been selected as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholar Award, which is given to up to 161 students each year. It recognizes the most distinguished graduating seniors in the nation. Factors such as high ACT and SAT test scores, academic achievement, and related considerations are taken into account.

“We celebrate this success with the home schools of (the students),” MSMS Executive Director Dr. Germain McConnell said. “Realizing we are an extension of those schools, and that they have played a significant role in the development of these students.”

MSMS itself keeps a small footprint on campus, with about 250 total students passing through its doors each year, and competition to get in is fierce. The average student ACT score is 28, and the average SAT score is 1857. Students in both grades (Junior and Senior) are work hard for their grades, taking mostly college-level courses. They are also expected to study for and re-take their ACT and SAT tests in order to improve their scores over time. The school itself has been honored, being named one of the top 25 high schools in the nation by Newsweek and the Daily Beast (#55 out of 1000), as well as one of the top 25 in the US South.

Click here for more information about MSMS: MSMS Website
Read more about the national award competition, courtesy of the Commercial Dispatch: Click here

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When Big Business is Small Business

When Big Business is Small Business

The Superbowl has not always been my favorite time of year. You see, I spent a good bit of my formative years in the pizza business, and Superbowl Sunday is traditionally the busiest day of the year, sometimes painfully busy – as the linked story from WCBI will attest, below. The funny part about it then, and about it now, is hearing friend and coworkers laud, ” Papa John must be printing money today – and he ain’t doin’ nuttin!! ”

John Schnatter (AKA Papa John) does indeed make some money off of the local stores. He earned that right 30 years ago when he built the company. However, the lion’s share of the reward is earned by local owners who worked for their money and took a risk on a franchise. Like most towns in Mississippi, Starkville and Columbus have the majority of restaurant chains owned by local folks. A local businessman or manager took the chance to buy into a chain to see if he could defy the odds and make a living.

The Papa John's team celebrates the launch of its Quality Guarantee at Super Bowl 50. (Graphic courtesy of Business Wire)

Schnatter, far right, and his team enjoying the sweet taste of victory. (Graphic courtesy of Business Wire)

Most franchises fail within a few years, often leaving the proprietor in very poor shape for his gamble. There are hundreds of locals who have lost their life savings taking a shot on a cafe, sandwich shop, or fast food joint. Buffalo Wild Wings, The Grill, McDonald’s, Subway, Papa John’s, and others all have local franchisees as their roots. The tax money stays in the state. They participate in the community by sponsoring soccer teams and school functions. The owners, quite often, live in your neighborhood; they might even go to church with you. Many of the chains that we routinely view as giants are, in reality, just as local as our favorite watering hole or dry cleaner.

Ask around, and keep a sharp eye out for locally owned “big businesses.” When you find one, thanks them for investing in our community. Their big, small business is good for our tax base, good for our community and great for business.

CK

http://www.wcbi.com/local-news/pizza-companies-gear-up-for-super-bowl-rush/

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Smith’s Landscaping, Renasant Bank Ready To Roll

Smith Landscaping is open now at their new location

Smith’s Landscaping is now open for business at their new location. Please pardon the dust as they create a bigger and better store!

Two cornerstones of the Columbus economy, Renasant Bank & Smith’s Landscaping, have got new locations for their customers to visit. Smith’s moved from their longtime location on 18th Avenue North next to the Cracker Barrel to the former Barnhill’s restaurant site on the corner of 18th and 7th Street North. The family-owned garden shop sold their old lot to a group that plans to build a state-of-the-art Burger King later this year.

The Commercial Dispatch’s William Browning – the preeminent business writer in our region – has a nice piece on Renasant’s new branch attached below:

(It’s worth noting that I ran into Smith’s #1 crew at the nearby bank branch Thursday, they were hustling to get the finishing touches done for a upcoming Grand Opening event. Kudos to Renasant for using a local business for the job!!- CK)

Renasant Bank has opened a new Columbus location.

The branch is at 595 18th Avenue North — that’s beside Logan’s Roadhouse, across from Cracker Barrel.

Renasant Bank's newest location

Renasant Bank’s newest location

“We needed a location that was more convenient to the Highway 45 North corridor and could also serve the medical community,” Bill West, the bank’s president, told The Dispatch this week. “Having access to Sixth Street North, through the Creekside complex, was a big factor in our location decision, as well.” The bank purchased the last parcel available in the Creekside Development from Mark Castleberry, a local developer, to build the 4,900 square foot branch on.

Read more: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=47975#ixzz3zEBlUEm9

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