Enhancing Businesses, Industrial Growth and Expansion
The Oxford-Lafayette County-University community is thriving and continues to be a focal point for education, entrepreneurship, the arts, healthcare and excellence in the quality of life for its citizens.
Leaders in our community continue to make sound economic growth a priority. Our Oxford Mayor and Board of Aldermen, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors and the Chancellor of the University of Mississippi work together diligently to see that our focus is on improving our community’s image, business climate and infrastructure. Quality job growth is considered essential to our future.
Many of the positive steps taken by our leadership have been in support for both the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Foundation. Our Chamber of Commerce spearheads programs to support the interests of our small business community and matters that enhance the quality of life in Oxford. Our Economic Development Foundation (EDF), a public-private partnership, is organized to create jobs and investment and usually involve projects that have a major impact over longer periods of time. It exemplifies the strength and capabilities of a marriage between governmental and private sectors in helping to make major community initiatives become a reality. Its mission is to be a leader in creating opportunities for responsible economic investment, thereby raising the per capita income for all citizens of Lafayette County.
EDF works to promote and sustain Oxford’s outstanding quality of life through its successful Retiree Attraction Program, which is responsible for recruitment of over 1,007 retiree households bringing assets of $323 million and over $33 million annually in discretionary income, with a total economic impact of over $49 million annually. EDF employs a full-time Retiree Attraction Program director to maintain the program’s successful efforts, which are highlighted on EDF’s retirement website, www.retire.oxfordms.com.
Some of EDF’s focused efforts include:
• Developing the remaining available acreage at the Lafayette County Industrial Park to facilitate the expansion of existing industries and the attraction of new ones
• Creating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship by maintaining the viability of our existing businesses and creating more current, technology-based jobs through the development of the Lafayette-Oxford-University Entrepreneurial Alliance
• Assisting and offering support for community-based initiatives that strengthen Oxford’s creative economy and enrich its quality of life
• Continued support for the North Mississippi Enterprise Initiative, a system of three regional business incubators located in Oxford, Batesville and Grenada; that encourage and support new business start ups
• Promoting business development by partnering with the University of Mississippi to market its services to business and industry through the UM’s Center for Manufacturing Excellence and Insight Park’s new Innovation Center
Our community’s plan for growth basically follows the findings of Vision 20/20, a community-based study developed by our citizens in 1999. The plan calls for reasoned growth within a framework that recognizes our community’s strengths as well as its weaknesses. EDF’s work is an important component of realizing the goals of Vision 20/20 and continues to work to preserve the economic viability of the Lafayette-Oxford-University community by supporting regional economic and community development efforts that benefit Oxford and its neighboring counties.
We hope that you will take the time to observe the growing new construction, investment and business development in and around the Oxford-Lafayette County area—especially the expansion of Olin-Winchester Corporation’s operations, adding another 422,000+-square-foot building in the Lafayette County Industrial Park to house their newly relocated Centerfire Division and bringing 1,000 new jobs to the area. Take note of the growing number of retail establishments, restaurants and businesses—especially around the town square, and see why Forbes magazine ranks Oxford #15 in “America’s Fastest-Growing Small Towns” for 2012 [“America’s Fastest Growing Small Towns;” by Beth Greenfield; Forbes, 1-23-2012] and Smithsonian magazine ranks Oxford among “The 20 Best Small Towns in America,” [April 17, 2012, Smithsonian Magazine]! Visit EDF’s website at www.oxfordms.com.