New Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber chairman wants to improve support for business

Published 8:17 am Thursday, February 3, 2022

The Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce needs not only to continue supporting the efforts of the Vicksburg-Warren Partnership but also encourage local business development, its incoming chairman said.

“We have much work to do and I am grateful the chamber, the (Warren County) Port Commission, Economic Development Foundation, ERDC (U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center) and ERDCWERX, which will be moving into MCITy, will continue to strengthen their established working relationship,” Chairman Keith Flowers said.

He said the accomplishments of those agencies working together will advance the area’s technical sector “and by association, the extension of our entire economy.”

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“I believe that if our progress (in technology) continues at its current rate that Vicksburg will be known as the technological epicenter of Mississippi,” Flowers added.

Flowers said 2021 was a great year for business start-ups and chamber membership retention and wants to continue that momentum in 2022. He also wants to reintroduce some programs that were suspended because of COVID-19, like the Leadership Vicksburg program.

“The board will be careful not to put anyone’s safety in jeopardy, but we do hope we can bring these programs back in 2022 if at all possible,” he said.

Flowers said the chamber will continue supporting the work of the Vicksburg-Warren Partnership on the proposed South Port, adding the project has grown and will need the support of the chamber and the community.

“We will continue to focus our efforts in supporting entrepreneurs in bringing more high-paying jobs to our region,” he said.

Since the founding of the economic development partnership in 2017, Flowers said, the chamber has announced the creation of 886 full-time jobs making above average wages — there was over $215 million in investments.

“We also believe there are other opportunities in the Ceres Industrial Complex and other parts of the community and we plan to take advantage of those in the coming year,” he said. “This is an exciting time to be part of the community. I’m very excited about this opportunity. … There are so many initiatives that exist today through the ideas and activities of the community and chamber members.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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