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An economic year in review presented at annual Chamber lunch meeting

During the Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Foundation Annual Meeting at The Inn at Ole Miss on Wednesday, CEO and president Jon Maynard presented numbers and statistics to show how Lafayette County and the chamber grew in 2017.

The estimated county population at the end of 2017 was 54,374, making it the highest growth rate in the state.

“We’re the 14th largest county,” Maynard said.

According to Maynard, 1,590 jobs were created in 2017, making it the largest annual job growth number on record for the county. The annual average unemployment rate was 4.2 percent. However, those who were working made an average annual wage of $39,950, which is $2,443 more than the Mississippi average.

The total assessed value of Lafayette County is $614,289,962.

People in Lafayette County, which includes the city of Oxford, and those who visit, like to shop, according to Maynard.

“In 2017, people spent $1.2 billion,” he said.

The chamber ended 2017 with 682 members, gaining 90 new members during the year. The chamber hosted 44 ribbon-cutting ceremonies and held 219 events.

The chamber fielded 64,687 business inquires and sent out 7,029 requested relocation packages. The chamber’s website had 101,835 hits and 171,301 page views.

On social media, the chamber has 9,532 followers.

“People are looking at us,” Maynard. “We believe we are on the right track and we believe we’re doing the right things.”

Part of Oxford and Lafayette’s success, Maynard said, are the area’s two school districts which rank in the top 15 percent in the state.

“People come here because we have great schools and people stay here because their kids are in good schools,” he said.