MSA: Jackson, MS
Best places ranking: #11 among midsize metro areas
Even in hard times, Jackson is on the rebound. Population loss during the 1980s eroded the city's tax base and left an economic and cultural hole in the city's center. Now downtown Jackson is undergoing a tremendous revitalization, including a shiny new 330,000-foot convention center. Young professionals who appreciate a laid-back Southern lifestyle are bringing new life to the city's reliable economic engine.
Three industries dominate in Jackson: government, health care and education. State government is one of the chief employers in the state capital, and a prime source of work for the contractors also located in the city. The city's four major hospitals make it a health care destination for people from around the state. And with five institutions of higher learning within the city limits and more in the metro area, Jackson produces plenty of well-educated graduates.
Jackson residents are largely loyal customers who greet new local businesses with enthusiasm. Retailers will find a more fickle market, but low taxes and a painless licensing process make starting a business easy. After hours, a lively music scene -- with plenty of Mississippi blues -- keeps residents dancing late into the night. -Ward Schaefer
Resources for getting started in Jackson, MS
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Jackson Business Statistics
"There is a lot of interest in what we're doing on a local level. People in the city, especially homeowners, are eager to do business with us." -Devereaux Galloway