After hours event to cover economic development

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 17, 2018

The Greater Picayune Chamber of Commerce is hosting an after hours event on Aug. 30 that will feature Alan Barefield, Extension Professor of Agricultural Economics with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

During the event, Barefield will present his findings about the current economic position within Pearl River County and its municipalities and population growth in the county.

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Barefield said he will also provide an overview of the healthcare industry’s performance in the county and shed light on the competitiveness of local industries and where most of the jobs are.

His hope is that the data will help individuals get a better understanding of the economy in Picayune, Poplarville and Pearl River County and how it’s structured in an effort to encourage the development of ideas to help boost the economy, Barefield said.

While the city of Picayune has a number of retail businesses, Barefield said more needs to be done to provide locals with entertainment, since most people seem to travel to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast to meet those needs.

His research also shows that the county has a diverse population of highly educated individuals, he said.

Barefield said the city of Poplarville has also been successful in attracting people and is doing well in the hospitality and food industry.

“They are selling more in retail sales… more than you can expect for a city of that size,” he said.

Between 2013-2017 the population of Pearl River County has increased by 0.6 percent to an estimated 55,270 people, Barefield said.

The event will take place at Pj’s Coffee in Picayune starting 5:30 p.m.