Enhancing Economic Resilience in the City of Horn Lake, Mississippi - Technical Assistance Report

This 2016 report of Enhancing Economic Resilience in City of Horn Lake, Mississippi outlines the findings of the technical assistance project in Horn Lake, MS. The International Economic Development Council (IEDC), with funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), was retained to assist the City to provide an assessment of the city’s economic strengths, challenges, and opportunities, and to provide recommendations for building a stronger economy that will be more resilient to future economic disruptions. This assessment examined current and planned economic development strategies and initiatives. The assessment also considered the ever-present threat of flooding, and suggests how incorporating resilience into future economic development and planning initiatives could help mitigate flood impacts. Horn Lake has experienced multiple floods in its history, including significant events in July 2005, April 2011, May 2013, and September 2014. From November 4-6, 2015, an expert panel comprised of four economic development professionals and two IEDC staff members traveled to the region for a three-day site visit. Prior to the visit, IEDC staff prepared a thorough background report and distributed it to the IEDC Team. This report provided information and data on demographic, social, and economic trends in the area. In addition, the report provided the IEDC Team with a foundational understanding of the city and its current economic development policies.
During the site visit the IEDC Team met with dozens of stakeholders during meetings to gather a deep understanding of the City and the local economy. At the beginning of the site visit, the IEDC Team toured the region to view areas of interest. On the last day of the site visit, after  all scheduled meetings had been conducted, the IEDC Team presented its preliminary findings and recommendations. This report elaborates on those findings and presents strategies and case study examples to assist leaders in Horn Lake in implementing the IEDC Team’s recommendations. The recommendations of the report are provided in six areas including:
  • Addressing Flooding,
  • Creating a Horn Lake Sense of Identity,
  • Leadership,
  • Increasing Community Participation in Civil Life
  • Promoting Entrepreneurship,
  • And Other Recommendations.
The IEDC technical assistance team included:
  • Daryl D. Phillips, CEcD EDFP, Director of Economic Development, Cheatham County Joint Economic and Community Development Board, Ashland City, Tennessee - Expert Panelist
  • Nancy Bowen-Ellzey, CEcD, Field Specialist, Community Economics, Ohio State University Extension, Lima, Ohio - Expert Panelist
  • Clarence Hulse, Executive Director, Economic Development Corporation Michigan City, Michigan City, Indiana - Expert Panelist
  • Della Rucker, CEcD AICP, Principal, Wise Economy Workshop, Cincinnati, Ohio - Expert Panelist
  • Scott Annis, Senior Economic Development Specialist, IEDC  – Technical Assistance Lead and Author
  • Joshua Hurwitz, Economic Development Associate, IEDC – Technical Assistance Support and Author

 Click Here to Download the Report


This technical assistance project was funded through a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), Economic Adjustment Assistance Project No. 04-79-06700. The grant is focused on long-term economic recovery of FY2011 disaster-impacted communities and regions in the EDA Atlanta office region. The statements, findings, conclusions, recommendations, and other data in this report are solely those of IEDC and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

IEDC would like to acknowledge Southwest Airlines, a community partner, for flying team members to the site visit. IEDC would also like to acknowledge StateBook International, ESRI Inc., and Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) for donating software that was used in this report.


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