In 2012, Gov. Bryant enacted the Healthcare Industry Zone Act to spur healthcare development within five miles of major acute care hospitals. Under the act, businesses like laboratory testing facilities, medical supply distributors and biotechnology research facilities that either make an investment of at least $10 million or create a minimum of 25 full time, permanent jobs within the healthcare zone are eligible for certain tax incentives.
During the 2013 session, Gov. Bryant expanded the act to include healthcare investment in communities that developed a certified healthcare master plan in lieu of meeting the original law’s acute care bed count.
“The communities that develop and adopt these master plans are setting solid groundwork for facilitating healthcare job creation,” Gov. Bryant continued. “These plans are valuable, proactive tools that will aid communities, MDA and local economic development practitioners as they work to attract the start-up or recruitment of a variety of private sector health-related industries.”
Gov. Bryant certified 12 Mississippi cities as Healthcare Zone Master Plan Communities:
- Clarke County: Quitman
- Clay County: West Point
- Copiah County: Hazlehurst
- Hancock County: Bay St. Louis-Waveland
- Humphreys County: Belzoni
- Madison County: Canton
- Marshall County: Holly Springs
- Montgomery County: Winona
- Noxubee County: Macon
- Panola County: Batesville
- Scott County: Morton
- Yazoo County: Yazoo City
“Last fall I traveled the state with the Mississippi Economic Council after evaluating the strengths and weaknesses in Mississippi’s healthcare economy. Together we issued Blueprint Mississippi Healthcare: An Economic Driver-a report that provides the framework to help us further develop our healthcare growth strategies,” Gov. Bryant said.
The report identified ways to grow Mississippi’s healthcare economy and benefit the state in four key areas: workforce development, quality of life, business sustainability and the creation of economic wealth.
Blake Wilson, president and CEO of the Mississippi Economic Council, said Gov. Bryant’s leadership will help Mississippi realize the importance of focusing on Mississippi’s health and its economy through developing the state’s medical industry.
“Gov. Bryant’s focus on this importance of healthcare as an economic driver will play a vital role in positioning Mississippi for the future,” Wilson said. “We have the opportunity through this summit to develop a new pathway to progress for Mississippi as part of the Blueprint Mississippi effort.”
“Leaders around the state are continuing to foster a positive environment for health care development, and we are implementing many of the strategies outlined in the Blueprint healthcare report,” Gov. Bryant said. “The clustering concept is taking root around the state as evidenced by these new master plan communities, and the Mississippi Healthcare Solutions Institute, which I announced in my 2013 State of the State address, will work to promote Mississippi’s healthcare sector.”
Gov. Bryant hopes other communities around the state will see the importance of developing a Healthcare Zone Master Plan as part of a strategy for expanding healthcare investment. Copies of plans for the certified communities are available at www.governorbryant.com.