Category Archives: Columbus

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:

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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.




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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.


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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:

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Catfish Alley Magazine Anniversary Party Tonight !


Columbus' Own Mother Goose graces the cover of Catfish Alley Magazine

Columbus’ Own Mother Goose graces the cover of Catfish Alley Magazine

  Catfish Alley Magazine, the award-winning regional publication based in Columbus, will be honoring their 5th anniversary with a gallery showing of  notable photographs tonight at the Columbus Arts Council. The magazine burst on to the scene five short years ago with compelling feature pieces and photography of life in the deep south. Many of the photographers are expected to be in attendance to be honored and discuss their works. Published by The Commercial Dispatch in Columbus, the magazine has become the standard for social publications in the Southeast, earning numerous awards in recent years. 


The magazine is another product of the Imes family of Columbus, who at one time owned media outlets, including newspapers and television stations from New York to Mississippi. The father and son team of Birney and Peter Imes now run the paper and magazine. Among their other significant efforts are the rehabilitation of properties, support of the arts, and other major philanthropic endeavors. Birney is an accomplished artist in his own right, having received nationwide acclaim for his three published collections, as well as having his works on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, La Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and The Art Institute of Chicago.

The family is a major contributor to the local business climate, and to the vibrant downtown area of Columbus. I consider them to be eternally good for business throughout the entire Golden Triangle

I encourage anyone with a love of Mississippi culture to swing by the CAC tonight (Feb. 4th) from 5:30 – 7:00pm for the shindig. If you can’t make it tonight, the exhibit will continue through the end of February.



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GTR LINK is on-hand for the opening of Steel Dynamics’ new multi-millon dollar plant!

The LINK brings the thunder again, as Steel Dynamics breaks ground on their $100,000,000 paint facility! 40 more jobs for the Golden Triangle, and 100 million more reasons to be sure that the GTR LINK and Jo Max Higgins are good for business!!

jmh steel dynamics

You can find more info about the groundbreaking here:


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Congrats to the Brislin Family for 60 Years in Business!

Congrats to the Brislin family, they are an integral part of our community, and an amazing family as well! The Golden Triangle is a better place because of their efforts and integrity.

Posted by Good for Business With Colin Krieger on Monday, January 18, 2016

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