Web site for port board, EDF receives honors

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just months after a complete overhaul, the Web site of the Warren County Port Commission and the Vicksburg Warren County Economic Development Foundation has garnered two awards for excellence in economic development.

The Washington, D.C.-based International Economic Development Council cited the industrial development and recruitment arm for its Special Purpose Web site award for organizations serving areas with populations between 50,000 and 200,000.

“Furthering economic development is rarely a simple task in the best of times, and advancing the cause in the midst of a global financial crisis is nothing less than arduous,” said IEDC chair Ian Bromley in a release. “As the consequences of the widespread economic turmoil have taken hold, we have seen our members become even more ardent proponents of economic development, flying in the face of one of the most challenging economic environments we have experienced in our careers. We proudly present this award to the Vicksburg Warren County Economic Development Foundation for its superior work during these difficult times.”

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A second Web site design award came from Expansion Solutions magazine, a bimonthly Alabama-based publication dedicated to helping companies choose sites to locate their resources. The EDF shared the honor with economic development organizations in Indianapolis; Valdosta, Ga.; Radford, Va.; and Waco, Texas, in its “top five” designation in seven specific areas of industrial development, including Web site development.

IEDC is the world’s largest economic development network, with 4,600 members. It praised the five-member commission and the corporate, working arm of the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce for taking advantage of technology’s role in economic development to provide information on the community and market the area for business expansion. It singled out the site’s “Vicksburg Prospector” link, a feature designed by San Francisco-based GIS Planning which finds available industrial properties in Warren County as well as statistics on consumer spending and demographics.

“Most economic development starts at the Web site level,” executive director Wayne Mansfield said. “It’s very important in trying to get the message out.”

Other links on the rebuilt site include “prospect packages” for businesses looking to relocate, e-mail alerts for economic news, and information on tax incentives available for industries in Vicksburg and Warren County.

Appointed by Vicksburg and Warren County governing boards, members of the commission oversee operations at the Port of Vicksburg and at Ceres Research and Industrial Interplex. The 16-member EDF acts as a liaison and information source for government and industry.


Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at dbarrett@vicksburgpost.com