CLARKSDALE, MS – The Delta Regional Authority Board, comprised of the Governors of its eight states including Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee and its Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill, is working alongside multiple partners to facilitate successful economic development in the region.

CLARKSDALE, MS – The Delta Regional Authority Board, comprised of the Governors of its eight states including Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee and its Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill, is working alongside multiple partners to facilitate successful economic development in the region.  When asked by the Memphis-area economic development and elected officials to help with this endeavor, Chairman Masingill and the DRA quickly responded to the community by thoroughly evaluating and ultimately granting the “isolated area of distress" designation to help the One Commerce Square ownership group with the financing required for the location of the corporate headquarters of Pinnacle Airlines to this part of the region.  This declaration helps to solidify the community's ability to use New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) toward this project.
 
This example marks the first time the DRA has helped a community to designate an area to be an "isolated area of distress" so that a previously unqualified area would be eligible for the New Markets Tax Credits.  It is an example of the many ways the DRA is now looking to find innovative ways to spur commerce in the region and utilize the tools available to it for economic and community development.  “I am pleased that this important piece of the financing for the Pinnacle corporate headquarters in downtown has been completed,” said Memphis Mayor AC Wharton.  “Our partnership with the Delta Regional Authority has once again proved vital to our economic development effort, and I want to personally thank the new Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill for handling this project so effectively.”
 
Pinnacle Airlines’ move will boost the Memphis economy, with a $30 million investment including plans to locate 650 employees to the downtown facility.  Locating the headquarters downtown will serve as an economic multiplier, directly impacting the hotel, restaurant, and service industries due to the large number of pilots and attendants who will travel to Memphis to complete training and educational requirements.  Pinnacle anticipates the influx from education and training to result in an additional 10,000 hotel room nights booked annually.
 
“Securing this project took all of us doing what we have committed to do to help grow and sustain our community,”  Chairman Masingill said. “We are glad that we were called to help, and thrilled to do our part in completing the package. This exemplifies the DRA’s commitment to bringing a ‘can do’ approach to economic development and we mean business in helping to bring new jobs to the region.”
 
“This is precisely the type of regional cooperation we need to keep the Memphis area moving ahead,” said John W. Moore, President and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber.  “I’m pleased to see everyone come together to bring an important tenant to the heart of downtown Memphis.”
 
Chairman Masingill is elevating business development and entrepreneurship to be cornerstones of the DRA’s new agenda.  “We believe the Delta region is the best place in the world to do business, and we are going to continue to partner with our communities to make this case,” said Chairman Masingill.  “Attracting a major employer like Pinnacle to downtown Memphis goes a long way toward bringing the Delta region to the attention of other businesses looking to make a move.”
 
The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership that serves 252 counties and parishes in parts of Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri.  Chris Masingill, appointed by President Obama to be the DRA’s Federal Co-Chairman, along with the governors of the eight states comprise the Authority’s board.
 
The Delta Regional Authority operates a highly successful grant program in each of the eight states it serves.  This program allows cities and counties to leverage money from other federal agencies.  Additionally, the Authority has expanded its regional initiatives in the areas of health care, transportation, leadership training, small business development and entrepreneurship and information technology.  
 
For additional information, please see www.dra.gov.