Collaborative Case Studies/Projects


 The Junior League of Jackson requested assistance from The University of Southern Mississippi’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism to conduct an economic impact study for their annual Mistletoe Marketplace. Research faculty and graduate students collected primary and secondary data to determine the impact of the three-day event by gathering participant feedback using a survey instrument designed to gain a better understanding of spending patterns. Over 300 attendee and vendor travel parties were surveyed and 271 usable surveys were analyzed.


USM-MSU game

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) played Mississippi State University (MSU) in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on September 5, 2015.  USM’s M.M. Roberts Stadium set a record attendance at this game of 36,641 people with an additional 3,000 estimated attendees outside the stadium. The University conducted a study of the football game to gauge the economic impact generated by game day fans. The USM research team conducted a survey to gather information regarding spending habits of the fans.



 Stone CountyThe Stone County Area Development Partnership commissioned The University of Southern Mississippi to conduct a retail trade analysis of the county.  This report is a summary of the findings for Stone County and is intended to provide insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the county over the next 3-5 years.  In 2013, Stone County captured approximately 66% of the retail trade of its area residents based upon a comparison between retail sales and population size. The other 34% of area retail sales are being made outside of the county.  From 2010 to 2013, the largest growth in sales, by percentage, was the Automotive Sector (36.2%), while the two largest declining industries were Equipment and Supplies (-31.3%) and Furniture (-28.8%). Equipment and Sales industry sector represents potential for the largest growth (1271.4%) in order to meet per capita expectations. In 2014, Stone County showed a noteworthy increase in retail activity from 66% to 70% in meeting the retail needs of its residents.



Pascagoula In 1999, a cross-section of Pascagoula community leaders came together to develop an initial strategic plan for the city.  The purpose of the original plan was to establish goals and strategies for community and economic development, and it was updated in 2004 and 2010 with input from a wide gathering of residents. In early 2015, the Pascagoula Strategic Plan Steering Committee began working on a five-year update of the plan. The University of Southern Mississippi Lott National Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship was commissioned to facilitate the review process. The format of the review consisted of a community-wide survey and two half-day meetings to update the plan. This report provides a summary of the progress reported from the survey and in-person meetings to establish strategic priorities for the next five-years.


Jackson County Economic Development Foundation, Inc.The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Economic Development conducted an economic impact study for the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation. The results of the study were presented to elected officials and business leaders during the spring investor's meeting and luncheon held in Pascagoula, Mississippi on May 30, 2013.  Dr. Chad Miller, assistant professor and graduate coordinator, said the study assessed $2.8 billion in capital investment from companies located in Jackson County. Researchers learned the industrial growth created 3,948 new jobs, 1,997 of which were direct jobs created by the companies. About 1,400 of the new jobs were in manufacturing while others jobs were created in other sectors of the economy. The projects also had "significant impact on the construction industry," Miller said, by creating 11,512 construction jobs and injecting $621 million in earnings into the industry. The expansions also increased annual state tax revenue by $13.6 million, the data showed.


Economic_Impact_Study_for_Art_In_the_Pass_FestivalArt in the Pass logo

USM’s Trent Lott National Center staff and an economic development master's degree student conducted an economic impact study for the Art in the Pass Festival in Pass Christian, Mississippi at War Memorial Park. The Art in the Pass Festival promotes community development by engaging volunteers and encouraging participation from visitors of all walks of life. The festival study revealed that the event generated an estimated 6,864 of total attendees of which out-of-town attendees generated approximately $370,000 in earnings income to the economy.

For this study, the target audience, out-of-town attendees, were considered to be anyone whose home zip code was from outside of Harrison County.  Additionally, the study revealed that local residents who participated in the festival generated over $165,000 in purchases during the weekend which could benefit the city of Pass Christian and Harrison County by shopping locally. Dr. Shannon Campbell, Director of USM’s Trent Lott National Center, stated, “We appreciate the opportunity to conduct the festival impact study for Art in the Pass.  Impact studies are helpful in paving the way for expanding future events and gaining support from partners and local businesses.”

Festival attendees have opportunities to participate in cooking demonstrations, network with artists, and purchase original artwork. For the past several years, festival coordinators have co-located Art in the Pass Festival with a one-day children's education outreach event on Saturday. The children's event is called Celebrate the Gulf and is sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.



Woodville Deer & Wildlife Festival

TLNC staff, along with an economic development master's student, conducted an on-site, two-day assessment of the city of Woodville, which is located in Wilkinson County, on Mississippi’s western border with Louisiana. The team met with festival leaders and determined ways to enhance marketing efforts of the Deer and Wildlife Festival, including the use of social media, email marketing and visitor surveys. As a result, the 2012 festival attendance grew by 60 percent, and the number of vendors and cook-off teams nearly doubled