LT. GOVERNOR BRYANT TO CO-ORGANIZE COAST BUSINESS SUMMIT

JACKSON – With the goal of encouraging additional development on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Lt. Governor Phil Bryant and the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport will host a one-day summit at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center to discuss the present and future state of the Coast’s economic climate.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Development Summit will address areas of air service, tourism and business developments.

“The Mississippi Gulf Coast is such a driving force in economic development in our state,” Bryant said. “While the coast has certainly had its share of disasters, it is rebounding and becoming an economic hub for the state.”

According to recent news reports, small business loans on the coast are up 60 percent in the first quarter, car sales are up 23 percent for the first three months, and since March 2010, 2,900 jobs have been added on the Gulf Coast.

Bryant said he is pleased with the summit’s line-up, which will pull industry leaders from the area. “It is great to see people of this caliber all sitting at the same table,” Bryant said.

Attendees include senior airline representatives, major developers, and tour operators from around the country, in addition to business leaders from across the Gulf Coast.

Luke Kellar, vice president for BP’s Gulf Coast Restoration Organization, Roger Woolsey, CEO of Million Air, Christopher Kastner, vice president and CFO for Ingalls Shipbuilding, and Don Allee, executive director of the Mississippi State Port Authority are among those making presentations at the summit.

“This will be our sixth year to host the development summit and it gets bigger and better every year,” said Frank Genzer, Chairman of the Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport Authority. “Governor Barbour kicked off the first summit outlining plans for the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, and we are pleased that Lt. Governor Bryant will provide an update this year.”

“As we work our way out of the recession, there is a lot of momentum building in South Mississippi,” said Jack Norris, President of the Gulf Coast Business Council. “The strategic post-Katrina investments like the incredible improvements to the airport have us well positioned for growth. This forum provides us a wonderful opportunity to highlight our assets to the investor community and tell the story that this is the place to invest.”

The summit will be held Friday, May 13th at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center. More information may be found by going to: http://www.flygpt.com/aboutgbia/summit.asp

### Bryant Press
5/3/11