The Great River Economic Development Foundation (GREDF) is the organization behind the Cotton to Steel brand. GREDF was formed in 2002 to provide cohesive economic development for Mississippi County, Arkansas, and serves as the lead organization for business recruitment and expansion in Mississippi County. GREDF is fully funded by a county-wide ½ cent sales tax for economic development, overseen by the Mississippi County Quorum Court.
Since 2003, GREDF has been instrumental in recruiting 28 companies to Mississippi County and helping with 43 business expansion projects. Job growth from these projects exceeds 4,280. Capital investment of $70 million has contributed to substantial growth in property tax revenues which support county and local services for residents and businesses.
Key services of the Great River Economic Development Foundation include:
Outreach and support for primary industry expansion and retention of operations to Mississippi County
Lead point of contact for companies and site selector seeking data and information about locating in Mississippi County
Host site visits for companies and site selectors, including coordination of meetings and tours
Partner extensively with Arkansas Northeastern College for workforce development initiatives and relevant training program development
Connect entrepreneurs and businesses to helpful resources for business growth
Serve as the steward of business incentive qualifications and awards, screening and packaging relevant incentives for business expansion and new location projects
Marketing Mississippi County externally and internally
Organizing information for site certification applications
The Tactical Advancement Plan is important to our goal of bringing life and lives back to Mississippi County. Economic and business growth continues to be important; however, the purpose of this plan broadens to intentionally develop Mississippi County as a place where those who work in Mississippi County’s businesses want to live and raise their families.
It is important to call attention to the fact that this broadened purpose is a big shift from GREDF’s previous focus solely on job creation. Therefore, successful pursuit of this plan’s purpose requires many partners to own the work it will take to advance Mississippi County. This plan should not be considered a GREDF Plan, but instead a true tactical plan to advance Mississippi County’s attributes for all.