The Surry County Board of Commissioners showed great wisdom and a willingness to invest in the county’s future earlier this week when board members voted to approve a $37,000 financial incentive package for Elkin.
The money will be part of an effort by a private developer to convert the former Liberty Theater building on Main Street into a multi-purpose unit that will include a banquet hall, retail and office space, as well as a restaurant. The hope is that it can attract attention as a reception hall for weddings and other social functions, conventions and other gatherings. In addition, a restaurant, along with retail and office space, would presumably attract full-time business residents.
While it’s not exactly clear how many jobs might ultimately be created, some will likely come into existence. Perhaps even more important is the potential ripple effect. Once a business enterprise is up and running, and attracting more traffic into the downtown area, often additional development follows, which in turn brings more traffic into the area.
Soon, hopefully this investment will pay off many times over for Surry and Elkin. Such expenditures are never sure things, but this represented an opportunity for the county to invest in its people and businesses, and the board did the right thing.