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Lafayette County leading the way

In some way, we all have invested in Oxford and Lafayette County. After all, this is our community and our home and most of us want to see it flourish.

People make investments every day — and not just on Wall Street. Investments into a local community can come in the form of a person choosing to open a business or build a home in a given location. It can be when the federal government supports a local project with contracts or people of a town support the local economy by spending money.

To find out what communities across the country are seeing the greatest amount of incoming investment, New York-based financial technology company SmartAsset recently completed its third annual study on counties receiving the greatest amount of incoming investment.

The study measured each county on the following data: business establishment growth, GDP growth, new building permits and federal contracts.

According to the results, Lafayette County ranked highest in the state in Business Establishment Growth at 8.8 percent, well ahead of DeSoto County at 6.4 percent and third place Madison County with 6 percent.

Lafayette County was fourth overall in the state in the number of building permits issued per 1,000 homes with 17.4. Hancock County on the Mississippi Coast leads the way with 20.6, followed by DeSoto County at 18.5 and Madison County at 17.7.

Lafayette County also leads the way overall in Mississippi with an Income Investment Index of 47.61 — more than a full point higher than No. 2 DeSoto County (46.64) and No. 3 Madison County (46.25).

Lafayette County is also ranked No. 158 overall in that category among all the counties in the nation.

These numbers indicate what I think we all have known for some time — Lafayette County is booming, whether we like it or not. And it takes smart growth to keep this economic train on the tracks and headed in the right direction. And that smart growth should come not only from our elected officials who steer the train but also from the business community and the general public. That means getting involved instead of just complaining about the issues that face our community in regard to the growth.

It amazes me how few people attend the Lafayette County Planning Commission and Lafayette County Board of Supervisor meetings that I cover regularly. Yet so many are quick to complain about a decision that is made by our elected officials once they read about it in the paper. The EAGLE publishes the agendas for these county meetings, as well as the City of Oxford meetings, so I urge you to attend and be involved.

Rob Sigler is managing editor of The Oxford EAGLE. Contact him at rob.sigler@oxfordeagle.com.