Press Release

Mississippi Development Authority and Retail Strategies to Host Retail Academy


CONTACT: Caroline Hannum
Retail Strategies

Birmingham, AL (December 3, 2020) – The Mississippi Development Authority was recently awarded a USDA Rural Business Development grant.  Through this grant, MDA will partner with Retail Strategies to offer the Retail Academy program to four communities in Mississippi. 

Developed by Retail Strategies, Retail Academy educates communities on best practices to attract new retail and restaurants while providing resources to support and grow existing local businesses. The event will be held on December 3 at the East Central Community College in Decatur, Mississippi.  The four communities awarded the grant to participate include: Columbia, Louisville, McComb, and Quitman.

“MDA’s Asset Development Division is looking forward to its partnership with USDA and Retail Strategies to provide retail education to these four Mississippi communities. This grant will enable us to empower these communities to develop key strategies, prospects and real estate opportunities.”

Chance McDavid, Director of Asset Development

The Retail Academy will include a day of customized training where leaders from each community will receive a customized Retail Recruitment Plan. The course also includes instruction on how to create an elevator pitch, set up conference meetings, make prospect outreach, and where to find industry-leading information critical to implementing a long-term retail recruitment plan.

“Mississippi has a strong local economy and has persevered through effects of COVID-19. We look forward to working with leaders in key communities in the state to identify unique opportunities for business recruitment, which ultimately leads to job creation and economic vitality for each locality.”

Jenn Gregory, President, Downtown Strategies

About Mississippi Development Authority

The Mississippi Development Authority is the state’s lead economic and community development agency. MDA focuses on new business recruitment, existing business expansion, workforce training and tourism promotion. For more information, visit

About Retail Academy

Retail Academy is a program developed from the leading national retail advisory firm, Retail Strategies. The program assists communities in strengthening their retail landscape. Communities will be trained and equipped with the tools and education necessary to attract new retailers to their markets, while providing support to their existing local businesses.

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