Cleveland joins twelve other Mississippi cities in the WHM program.
Cleveland has been named Mississippi’s newest certified retirement city under the Welcome Home Mississippi program. Administered by the Mississippi Development Authority, the goal of WHM is to attract retirees from around the country to communities throughout the state.
“MDA commends the city of Cleveland for taking the initiative to become a Welcome Home Mississippi retirement community. Retirees play a significant role in strengthening local economies, as they shop and dine locally and are active members of their communities,” said MDA Deputy Director Laura Hipp. “Cleveland is in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, the land of the blues, and boasts many unique attractions and events that cannot be replicated anywhere else.”
A July 2019 study conducted by Alan Barefield, Ph.D., and Kalyn Coatney, Ph.D., of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Mississippi State University, revealed that in 2017, the economic impact of the Welcome Home Mississippi program was significant, especially in the communities engaged in the program. Incoming retirees contributed $25.9 million to the state’s economy, and more than 200 jobs were created. The economists estimated that in 2017, 434 sectors of the state’s economy experienced increased output as a result of the program.
In addition to the economic impact retirees have in their communities, they contribute in numerous other ways, including volunteering in and contributing monetary donations to local churches, schools, agencies and arts/cultural organizations. In turn, the study concludes the WHM program is a valuable asset to the state.
Cleveland joins the cities of Aberdeen, Brandon, Clinton, Hattiesburg, Madison, Natchez, Oxford, Picayune, Southaven, Starkville, Tupelo and Vicksburg in the WHM program.