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Top Cities to Start a Business: Jackson, Mississippi

Mississippi’s capital and largest city, Jackson is also the largest economic center in the state. Home to major electrical equipment and machinery, processed food, and metal product industries, with numerous major companies based in the city including Ergon, Cal-Maine Foods and Trustmark.

Offering affordable business premises, excellent business services and easy access to financing, Jackson is one of the best places to do business in the United States. The city also provides businesses with excellent transportation links, including one of just two international airports in Mississippi. It is also at the cross-roads of major railway lines and interstate highways, including the I-20 and I-55. According to WalletHub’s 2015 list of best cities in the U.S. to start a business, Jackson ranks fifth out of 150 cities across the country. In the same national ranking, Jackson was fourth in terms of access to resources including office affordability, employee availability and financing accessibility. Mississippi also ranks high for doing business. The state ranked in the top 10 states for doing business, as well as sixth in terms of overall cost of doing business and third for competitive labor costs by the Area Development Magazine in 2014. 

Jackson also boasts world class facilities for start-ups in industrial sectors. The city is home to three major industrial parks, all of which are well-connected to the national interstate system as well as by railway. Hawkins Field Industrial Park and Northwest Industrial Park are both in a Foreign Trade Sub Zone. This means the parks are restricted-access sites and can serve as a port of entry. The oldest and largest industrial park in Jackson, Hawkins Field is linked to the Kansas City Southern Railroad line and Interstate 220. It is also the home of Hawkins Field General Aviation Airport, providing excellent services for corporate and private flights and easy access to the city’s downtown. The Northwest Industrial Park sits close to the junction of of Interstate 220 and Interstate 55, while the Illinois Central Railroad line is also nearby. The industrial park covers more than 200 acres. Mayes-Lawson Commerce Park Industrial Area in Northwest Jackson is a hub for plastics and other manufacturing, as well as warehousing and distribution. It is close to Highway 49, Interstate 220, and the Illinois Central Railroad line.

To start a business in Jackson, owners must obtain a Business License unless they are exempt by state or federal law. Business License fees must be paid when the business starts up and annually when renewing the license. Inspections might also be carried out, depending on the type of business. For example, Health Department inspections are needed for child care providers and anyone preparing or serving food. Fire inspections are also required for all businesses, while police inspections are required for businesses including serving beer and wine, pawn brokers, and others. For more information about starting a business or investing in Jackson, visit

(1) USA Today, ‘Best and worst cities to state a business’, May 10, 2015,
(2) WalletHub, ‘2015 Best Cities to Start a Business’,
(3) Mississippi Development Authority, ‘Mississippi is the perfect home for your business’,
(4) City of Jackson, ‘Industrial Parks’,
(5) City of Jackson, ‘Business Licenses’,


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