Tupelo area wins award for ‘Top Micropolitan’ for 13th time

Region gets the honor for attracting new business and industry

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Communities across Northeast Mississippi are always looking for ways to attract new industries and businesses to their area.

One region has been especially successful and gets a top honor once again.

For the 13th time since 2005, the Tupelo region, which is made up of Lee, Itawamba, and Pontotoc Counties, has been named a top Micropolitan by Site Selection Magazine.

“It brings a lot of national attention to this area,” said Mike Smith, president of the Lee County Board of Supervisors.

Smith works with local, state, and national government officials, as well as private business leaders and economic developers to promote Tupelo and Lee County to businesses looking to expand.

Last year, according to Site Selection Magazine, the Tupelo Region announced seven new and expanding industry projects. Those projects created more than 220 new jobs and nearly 50 million dollars in new capital investment.

Smith says it’s all about strategic partnerships.

“We have other people working with us, like CDF, Mississippi Development Authority, ARC, Three Rivers, and our goal. We will continue working with these great people in 2023 and grow more jobs in Lee County and the Tupelo area,” Smith said.

According to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, a micropolitan is defined as a labor market of 10 thousand to 50,000 people, centered around an urban cluster in at least one county.

Being named a top micropolitan is important to not just large industries, but also small business owners, like Kim Caron, who owns the Caron Gallery, and is also chairman of the board at CDF.

“For me as a small business owner, it’s important, if we’re able to attract more businesses and more people, it attracts more businesses and more people, which brings more people to my door,” Caron said.

It has been said economic development is a team sport, its competitive, takes people working together for the same goal and when there’s a big win, like being named a top micropolitan, it has a positive impact on a lot of people, with new jobs, new housing and more opportunities for a better standard of living.

For 2022, Tupelo ranked ninth out of 543 micropolitan areas in the nation.

For 24/7 news and updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Categories: Featured, Local News