First Posted: 8/18/2009
Previous forum articles have covered several of the spokes on the wheel of economic development and many other spokes are also involved. The major point is simply that economic development is a never ending process and is something that we should continue to do with energy, resources, and attention, to the ongoing process. Because of our current poor economy, which is having a serious impact on all of our citizens, certainly efforts towards economic development are at the top of the list for efforts and concern.
Some citizens concerns that I have heard expressed are both vocal and in writing to the point you would think all is doom and gloom in Mount Airy and Surry County. As an elected official I am certainly giving this my major effort to attract new industry and jobs and to also do all possible to help current business to grow and prosper in our area.
I also am reminded and want to encourage all citizens to remain positive as we look to the future. The first verse of a hymn that is a favorite of mine I quote, When upon lifes billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. Even with our current economy we do have many positive things going on in our city and county and many have the potential for adding jobs and improving the economy. The areas of education, health care, and service-related organizations are showing growth and adding jobs. Tourism is a great asset and growing and is adding jobs with an indirect positive influence in several areas. That is also true of our recreation facilities and activities with tournaments and year round programs.
I heard a speaker last week quote Winston Churchill as saying, When you are going through Hell, keep going and dont stop. To me that simply means if we continue our efforts towards economic development we will continue to be successful. We may not add manufacturing jobs in great numbers with large plants, however we can continue to grow in the areas we are having some current success and new jobs will be included. I continue to get opportunities to celebrate the openings of new businesses that indicate new growth in many areas.
Do we have blessings to count? I can see them in any direction I look and at the top of the list are the dedicated and positive citizens working hard to utilize the assets we have in Mount Airy and Surry County. I realize that it is difficult for those unemployed and looking for jobs to be positive; however even they can be thankful for the support and encouragement that is available, and, if we continue working together, things will change for the better. We, as a city and a county and a region, are all in this together. Lets not forget to count our blessings!