After all the political posturing in DC, it’s finally happening.  The State of the Union Address will be delivered tonight at 8:00 p.m. by President Donald J. Trump.  And a Mississippi business is slated to be featured in the speech.

Roy James, Plant Manager of the Vicksburg Forest Products lumber facility, will be a special guest of President Trump & First Lady Melania Trump. A great honor for Mr. James and Mississippi.

Vicksburg Forest Products lumber facility is family owned and operated in Vicksburg. It was repurposed during the summer of 2018 for high-quality Southern Yellow Pine lumber manufacturing.

The facility was one of the first projects in the country to take advantage of an innovative program called Opportunity Zones.  Championed by Senator Tim Scott (R – South Carolina) in the 2017 Tax Bill, Opportunity Zones allow investors to reinvest capital gains and defer capital gains taxes by up to 10 years in specially designated low income census tracts that are typically capital deprived.

The CDFI Fund at the US Department of Treasury is the designated agency that oversees census tract eligibility.  Each state was allowed to designate its own subset of Opportunity Zones.  Mississippi’s program was approved by Governor Phil Bryant.

The genesis of the inclusion of Vicksburg Forest Products in President Trump’s speech came from a visit from HUD Secretary Ben Carson in December.  He and Governor Bryant toured the facility.