Over the past few years it seems every New Year’s Day brings the same — hopes for a better economy in the coming 12 months.
This year, though, there seems to be reason for optimism that might truly be on the way.
We’re under no illusions — even if 2013 turns out to be a great year, Mount Airy and Surry County will not see a time as when the textile firms employed so many thousands of people locally. And 2012 has seen a few local companies cut back staffs, or close altogether.
But in recent months there have been a few announcements of new jobs coming to the community — some paying quite well — and there is the promise of more such announcements as both the city and county work with the Surry County Economic Development Partnership in luring new industry and business.
We also believe Congress and the President will reach an agreement on the budget — maybe one will have been reached by the time you are reading this — which will help ally fears of another recession.
While 2013 will most likely be a time of slow economic growth, we foresee it as a year of steady growth, and that means gradually declining joblessness, more tax and other revenue for local and state governments, and to borrow a sports term, momentum for additional improvement later.
Some of this may seem like wishful thinking, but looking at the numbers — gradually dropping unemployment, housing sales on the upswing, and others — we believe there is reason to hope that 2013 will be the best one in some time for the community.