New businesses bring $1 billion to Olive Branch - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New businesses bring $1 billion to Olive Branch

By Daniel Hight - bio | email | Facebook

OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC-TV) - More than a dozen new businesses have moved into DeSoto County recently, bringing $1 billion to the community.

In a sluggish economy, DeSoto County became a hot spot last year. The county attracted 17 new businesses, but Olive Branch landed over half of those companies.

Olive Branch Mayor Sam Rikard has reason to be optimistic.

"It's been a big year," said Rikard.

Ten of the 17 new businesses in DeSoto County set up shop in Olive Branch.

"It was a bright spot in our otherwise down economy," said Rikard.

Rikard said the nearby highway systems and large parcels of land make Olive Branch especially attractive to industrial businesses. He said the proximity to Memphis is also beneficial.

"How close we are to Memphis International Airport and the distribution services that FedEx provides," said Rikard. "And even up the Lamar, the Burlington Northern Railroad."

Rikard said ultimately, companies choose Olive Branch for its people.

"They look for dependable work force and dependable schools for the children and grandchildren to go to," he said.

According to Rikard, new and expanding businesses in Olive Branch could add close to 2,000 new jobs over the next few years with a total investment of nearly $1 billion.

The mayor said he is proud of the city's success in 2010 and is excited about 2011.

"It's going to be hard to top," said Rikard.

Last year, Olive Branch also got approval from the state to build a 100-bed hospital.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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