Chamber of Commerce: Oxford is community first and innovative

Published 4:47 pm Thursday, May 12, 2022

After three years, the Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting and Luncheon returned Wednesday with high spirits and praise for how far Oxford and Lafayette County have come since the last event.

Chamber President and CEO Jon Maynard expressed his happiness about Oxford and Lafayette’s resilience in the face of COVID-19 to present attendees.

“COVID came and went but our economy still remains strong,” said Maynard. “COVID was something that came to us just like the actual disease does: It came on suddenly, came on unexpectedly and it lingers around for a little while. We’re not completely out of the woods yet. There are things that we still have to deal with in the future but for right now, things are going extremely well.”

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The COVID-19 pandemic brought the coronavirus in unending waves for the economy to battle, but waves of new programs, information and changes passed down from the government came out during this time. The Chamber, the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Foundation and the greater community responded to everything thrown their way, Maynard said.

A lot of things changed during the COVID, but Oxford remained in the top 2% of all micropolitan areas in the nation. In 2020, Oxford ranked #8 out of 542 micropolitan areas. Although Oxford moved down to #34 in 2021, the drop in rank doesn’t not phase Maynard.

“That’s still pretty darn good,” he said. “We still going extremely strong with our economy.”

But what makes Oxford stand out from other cities in Mississippi, or even in the region? To Maynard, it’s the attitude of the people.

“Out of all the communities I’ve lived in my entire life,” he said, “Oxford has two things going for it: Number one, everybody has a community first attitude. Everybody says this community is important, what we do here [with] the culture and everything about it is worth telling somebody about it and we’re living it every day.┬áNumber two, when things happen, we’re innovative. We figure out how to do the next thing and we make things really work here.”

Oxford is growing from the inside out, he said. And we’re doing it on our own.