Archive for the ‘Business newsmakers’ Category

Silver Airways to continue service at least through Aug. 7

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As expected, the U.S. Department of Transportation has ordered Silver Airways to continue service to five markets– including Tupelo – after the airline announced two weeks ago its intent to end service there (click here for previous coverage).

The other affected cities are Muscle Shoals, Ala.; and in Mississippi,  Greenville, Meridian and Laurel/HattiesburgSilver Air plane
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Written by Dennis Seid

April 23, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Acco Brands adding 162 jobs with call center in Booneville

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As mentioned last week, Acco Brands is expanding its plant in Booneville. The official announcement was made today, and it’s great news  162 new jobs with the addition of a call center.

Press release from Gov. Phil Bryant’s office and the Mississippi Development Authority: ACCO

Gov. Phil Bryant and officials from office products supplier ACCO Brands announced today the company is adding call center operations at its location in Booneville, Miss. The project represents a corporate investment of $1.6 million and will create 162 full-time jobs.

ACCO Brands last expanded its operations in Booneville in 2008. That project was a $55 million corporate investment that created 300 jobs.

“ACCO Brands is a great corporate citizen in Mississippi, which is demonstrated by the addition of these new call center operations and the jobs being created. With this announcement, we have reached a milestone of announcing the creation of more than 10,000 new jobs since January 2012,” Gov. Bryant said. “I thank the company for once again investing in our state and placing its confidence in our business climate and trust in our quality workforce. I wish the company many more years of success in Prentiss County.”

“We value our partnership with the state of Mississippi and continue to expand our Booneville facility because of the business-friendly environment that the state provides,” said Mark Gams, senior vice president, U.S. Operations, ACCO Brands.  “Since the opening of our state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution facility in 2008, we have moved a variety of manufacturing and customer care positions into Booneville from China, Canada and other U.S. locations.  We are always looking for opportunities to take advantage of the well-trained and well-educated workforce defining Mississippi as a business destination.”

The Mississippi Development Authority provided assistance in support of the project for building upgrades. The Tennessee Valley Authority provided assistance for the project, as well.

“We are grateful to ACCO Brands for selecting its north Mississippi location as the home of these new operations. Job creation remains a top priority for MDA and the state, and we thank the ACCO team for providing so many job opportunities for the residents of Booneville and Prentiss County,” said MDA Executive Director Brent Christensen. “We thank our partners at TVA, the Prentiss County Development Association, Prentiss County and the City of Booneville for helping make this expansion possible.”

 ACCO Brands Corporation is one of the largest suppliers of branded office products, including brands such as At-A-Glance, DAY-TIMER, Five Star, GBC, Hilroy, Kensington and Swingline. ACCO Brands markets its products in more than 100 countries through its sales and distribution networks and has more than 6,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit

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Written by Dennis Seid

April 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Tupelo’s Wine Downtown Thursday, tickets near sellout

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The fifth annual Wine Downtown in Tupelo is Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.mWineDowntown-2C

This year, 17 businesses are participating, a record.

And if you haven’t gotten your tickets, you might want to hurry. Only 300 tickets are available, and they’re going fast.

The price is $30 in advance and $35 the day of the event.

Appetizers made by local restaurants will be paired with the wine at each location.

You can get your ticket(s) at the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association office at 108 S. Broadway, or reserve with a credit card by calling (662) 841-6598.

Needless to say, you must be 21 or older, and you must have a valid ID.

Tickets can be redeemed at Trustmark Bank, which is the sponsor of the event.

The participants this year are: About the South, Caron Gallery, Farmhouse, Gumtree Gif Shop, His Hers, Kirksey Brothers, MLM, Mississippi Hills Heritage, Northwestern Mutual, Reed’s Ladies’, Rumor Chanin, Serendipity Too, Shanti Yoga, Spring Street Cigars, Swirlz, The Main Attraction and Voe’s.


Written by Dennis Seid

April 22, 2014 at 10:55 am

Tupelo Food Truck-Apalooza set for May 2

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There’s Food Truck Fridays in Tupelo, but on May 2, it’s a little more amped up.

Illustration courtesy of Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Illustration courtesy of Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau is having Food Truck-Apalooza at its office on Main Street that day from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

In addition to the three food trucks now on the streets in Tupelo – Local Mobile, Two Dudes Mexican Foods and Memphis Style BBQ on Wheels, there are a few more that the CVB is talking to but has not confirmed.

We’ll update you when we hear.

Food Truck-Apalooza also will cap off the next Tupelo Foodie Challenge, which starts Monday, April 28. Click here for our previous story on what that Tupelo Foodie Challenge is all about.

Japanese airline ANA retires last 747 in Tupelo

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All Nippon Airways (ANA) retired its last Boeing 747 on Thursday, with the pilots making a flyover at the Tupelo Regional Airport.

The 747 was officially retired from service on March 31 in Tokyo, carrying several hundred passengers. In recent days, it made its way to Anchorage, Alaska and finally to Tupelo. It landed around noon Thursday, then made its way to Universal Asset Management, which has retired 10 of ANA’s planes over the years. Three ANA 747s sit on UAM’s space at the airport, including a Pokemon 747 that landed last fall, joining ANA’s other retired Pokemon plane that was disassembled in 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

April 17, 2014 at 11:54 pm

TVA CEO takes economic development tour in Northeast Mississippi

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One of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s main missions is economic development, and the utility company’s top executive is seeing first-hand what is happening across its footprint.

“Our job is to help attract and keep bring businesses here, and I want to know why people come here,” said TVA chief executive officer Bill Johnson. “I’m interesting in seeing what we can learn and what more we can do.”

Tecumseh general manager Joe Kulovitz, left, talks to Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson during Johnson's tour of the Verona facility Wednesday.

Tecumseh general manager Joe Kulovitz, left, talks to Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson during Johnson’s tour of the Verona facility Wednesday.

In the past 18 months, more than 6,000 jobs have been created or retained in Northeast Mississippi, with capital investments totaling more than $1.4 billion.

While TVA isn’t directly responsible for those jobs and investment, it has played a key role in providing resources and infrastructure – namely cost-effective electricity – to help economic developers recruit and retain businesses.

Johnson tours the Valley three times a week

On Wednesday, Johnson toured the Tecumseh manufacturing facility in Verona and the Yokohama Tire site in West Point.

At Tecumseh, Johnson toured the facility with general manager Joe Kulovitz and other company officials as they showed a new expansion. Last July, Tecumseh announced it was building its advanced commercial refrigeration compressor.

The $10 million project, with $4 million coming from a low-interest loan from the Mississippi Development Authority and $600,000 in infrastructure and other improvements, could bring 150 jobs in the next five years.

Without MDA and TVA, the project would not have happened, Kulovitz told Johnson. Read the rest of this entry »

Last 747 for Japanese airline to land in Tupelo on Thursday

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Biz Buzz speculated two weeks ago that the final Boeing 747 belonging to All Nippon Airways (ANA) could very well be headed to Tupelo and Universal Asset Management.

This is the retired ANA 747 that will be landing in Tupelo Thursday.

This is the retired ANA 747 that will be landing in Tupelo Thursday.

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