Today’s health care industry offers an enormous economic development opportunity in Mississippi. The health care industry as a whole no longer simply refers to doctors, nurses, hospitals and patients. Like all thriving industries, health care has embraced technological advances to the benefit of patients and hospital and clinic workers everywhere. The industry now includes research and development, pharmaceuticals, high-tech machines and imaging devices, the companies that service those machines, and health records and information networks and databases.
This growing industry has much to offer Mississippians. In a state with high rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension, health care innovations and expanded health care access can save lives and reduce costs, making a huge difference in Mississippi’s quality of life and long-term prosperity. In turn, health care corridors like the Mississippi Medical Corridor in Jackson and the many clinics and labs surrounding it create a dynamic environment fueled by research-based innovation and commitment to improved health care outcomes for Mississippians that serve as fertile ground for new health care businesses.
Health care’s wide reach and multiplying opportunities for growth caught the attention of Gov. Phil Bryant and the Mississippi Legislature in the 2012 legislative session. The passage of the Mississippi Health Care Industry Zone Act represented a major step forward in expanding Mississippi’s health care industry. Administered by Mississippi Development Authority, the Mississippi Health Care Industry Zone Incentive Program provides tax incentives to qualified health care-related businesses that locate or expand in Mississippi and create new jobs for state residents.
In support of the bill’s passage, Gov. Bryant said, “This bill will help foster a positive environment for development in the health care industry while making sure Mississippians have the proper access to cutting-edge medical care. As I have said before, health care is an industry of necessity. Our population is aging, so we know that more Mississippians will have the need for increased health services. We also know that the health care industry creates good paying jobs that Mississippians need.”
Since 2012, Mississippi’s health care industry has continued to grow, and many businesses are positioning themselves to take advantage of the Mississippi Health Care Industry Zone Incentive to the benefit of communities across the state. The legislation allows sales and property tax exemptions to eligible health care industries to encourage location in Mississippi Health Care Zones, which are defined as areas with at least 375 acute care hospital beds within three contiguous counties. To qualify for assistance through this program, health care-related businesses must locate within five miles of a hospital with acute care beds and commit to create at least 25 full-time jobs and/or invest $10 million. Businesses that have been certified for this program are expected to invest approximately $250 million and create more than 900 jobs in Mississippi. To find out more about this program and other business incentives, please contact MDA, or visit our website.