Archived Story

Letter to the editor: ‘Attract new families and businesses’

Published 9:42pm Wednesday, January 2, 2013

To the Editor:

As the city and county plot a course toward economic development it might be wise to consider the following factors. As far as I can see there are few in any mid-size firms looking to relocate to Washington or anywhere else. If one should appear we should prepare, but, perhaps we would better spend our time trying to attract people rather than businesses.
We, in Beaufort County, have a number of advantages that make this location a good place to live. We have waterfront property and water access property. We have an attractive residential tax base, we have a low crime rate, it’s not crowded here and schools are competitive. (In fact, Beaufort County is ranked ahead of Pitt County in both school ranking and crime rates.) While we don’t have jobs to offer, Greenville does. Why not live here and work there? We may find the economic growth we need by attracting people two, three and four at a time to buy homes here that might now be looking in Greenville.
It seems to me that 100 jobs created in a new business, while an important boost to the economy, would not be nearly as important as 100 new home owners. The most important fact is that 100 home owners would live here while those getting the jobs in a new plant may not be residents.  Buying a home involves a number of local businesses such as realtors, surveyors, lawyers, insurance and banks. If some of the houses were new construction, building trades and retail businesses would be involved. In any event, the families would be living here and may over time help to improve the downtown economy. There are jobs in Greenville right now. The college and hospital are growing, adding facilities. Pitt County
has had a growth rate of 25.7 percent between 2000 and 2010 and by 2014 an additional 12 percent is anticipated. When you think about it, do the people who work at PotashCorp-Aurora live there? Why do we need to be concerned that the jobs are 20 miles west or 20 miles east of here. What I’d like to see is that the city and the county get together with local businesses and see how we can attract new families as well as new business.


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