Vaunita Martin Mug

Vaunita Martin

ICDC recently completed another fiscal year, and our organization looks to the year ahead with great anticipation. Soon, ICDC will host planning sessions with our elected officials, businesses and our board. Itawamba County and ICDC enjoyed many phenomenal successes during the past year. We have swung the pendulum so far beyond our own expectations with tremendous growth in local business, increases in the county’s tourism, and incredible strides in community investment. Growth doesn’t happen by chance; it happens in multiple layers, beginning with the creation of a plan, continuing with the investment in community partnerships, and ultimately succeeding by the desire of our citizens to foster meaningful change. Failing to make a plan only ensures failure, and our leaders work daily to make and follow plans to ensure success. These plans keep us motivated and make us more accountable to the constituents.

Rural Home Mortgages increased significantly over the last five years, according to the National Association of Realtors. It’s really not rocket science as to the reason why we are seeing such growth here in Itawamba County. Our leaders focus a great deal of attention on increasing affordable single family housing, providing safety, maintaining a quality educational system, enhancing recreational opportunities, and promoting our local businesses. Driving the plan will continue to produce results. Our leadership team, representing Itawamba County in its entirety, will continue to focus on these five areas to foster continued growth for many years to come.

As we look forward, one area of concentration is technology. This technical age brings the ability to work, shop, invent, seek education opportunities, pay bills, sell items, start a business, see a doctor, and things we have yet to even imagine right from the comfort of our homes. Technology has changed the way we do everything. We must continue to focus on improving the technology infrastructure in Itawamba County to better the lives of our citizens. We must enact strategies for our businesses, educational system, and community to thrive, not just survive. ICDC’s upcoming planning sessions will build synergy in this key area. We need to meet our businesses where they are and be a part of helping them get to the next level, overcome their challenges, and market their products successfully. Improved technology will save our businesses money so they can reinvest in growing their businesses in the future.

It takes a village to raise a business. Shopping and eating locally produces the circle of life for the survival of our rural county. As we enter the holiday season, please plan to invest your dollars in the local businesses that contribute so much to our community. For continued growth, we must first invest in those that have invested in us. Give to those businesses sponsoring sponsoring your kid’s ball team and community events. Our local businesses invest their time and money to give us a better quality of life. Sticking to our plan with intentional vision will produce even greater results in the year ahead.

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