Columbia/Marion County – where Economic Development was created!
In 1931, Mayor Hugh White and the Chamber of Commerce developed the Columbia Plan to attract industry.
- Success resulted in Columbia’s sales tax increasing by 26% while the state’s were decreasing by 32%.
- White and Chamber leaders became consultants to other communities.
- White became Governor of Mississippi and based his economic growth plan, “Balance Agriculture With Industry (BAWI) on The Columbia Plan.
- The Columbia Plan and BAWI later became the basis for today’s Industrial Revenue Bonds and Mississippi created an image as “America’s No. 1 Economic Opportunity.”
- Today, Columbia’s business community offers the same spirit of opportunity. Columbia, with a population of only 6,600, is home to 4 of the Mississippi Business Journal’s top 100 companies and boasts a high ratio of companies grown by local entrepreneurs among its industrial base.