March 7, 2014
Economic Development and Edgefield County
All economic development – manufacturing, light industrial and small business – is an important thread in the fabric of our County.
There’s no question that our County is woven together with excellent law enforcement, key medical services, educational opportunities, local recreation and a variety of other services crucial and necessary for citizens.
But economic development provides jobs. Those jobs translate into pay checks citizens can spend and support their households. But the jobs and those paychecks also enhance the opportunities for many others who want to open new businesses or expand current businesses or industries as money moves through the local economy.
In addition, economic development, in the form of new or expanding business and industry, brings in new tax revenue so governmental entities can work to improve the lives of citizens.
There’s no question that economic development can come with its challenges as well. However, for the most part, these challenges are winners’ problems. And I want our County to be a winner.
County Council has made significant strides in the past few years to improve on the groundwork already put in place. We have looked at how to protect citizens in the form of revised zoning laws, and we will continue to look for ways to ensure job creation and co-exist with residents and other businesses. That’s a never-ending task.
You may not realize that, in addition to the industrial recruitment and retention by the Economic Development Partnership, the County has a volunteer Committee dedicated to understanding what various entities are working on to ensure we work together for steady, prepared growth. The Economic Development Committee has been in place for decades, and the work they do brings a lot of the key pieces of economic development together, such as water and sewer, power companies, education, building and planning, medical and other services.
Also, keep in mind that most industrial growth in communities comes from the expansion of existing industries. The new industries get all the headlines, but those industries in our County that continue year after year are important to our drive to create more job opportunities. I have had the opportunity to visit with the leadership of every major industry in Edgefield County – many 2-3 times – and we are fortunate that these industries are doing a good job with their business plans. Several of them have had recent expansions; many of them have expansion plans on the drawing board ready to execute.
Those plans say a lot for our County, its workers and our future.
Until next time,