Capitalizing on economic drivers

Published 12:16 am Monday, November 14, 2016

Sitting here and looking at our beautiful Pamlico River and the bright blue sky above makes me appreciate all that we are fortunate to have! We do not even have to try — just be good stewards of what we have been blessed to have. With that, let us in this article talk about just what are Washington’s economic drivers. Knowing that more cities and towns have more people employed collectively in their central business district than at any other place within their county makes this a topic worth discussing.

So, what is the definition of an economic driver? An economic driver, simply put, is an understanding of what drives a community, region, state or country economically. There may be more than one, and in most cases, there are. We also think that big industry and construction projects are the only drivers a community can have to strengthen its economy and are vital to ensure growth and expansion. Providing a cheaper work force and inexpensive locations have been two factors that have been used in the past to lure industry to areas. Not saying that they are not important, but we have one that is overlooked and is becoming more prevalent in the economic arena — quality of life. Ranging from good health care, climate, cultural opportunities and having recreational advantages all add to our opportunity to exploit what we already have. Our warm and hospitable charm can be an asset we need to appreciate.

As a community, let us take pride in our restaurants, businesses, retailers and especially our wonderful landscape. These areas cost us nothing and can be a huge benefit in bolstering our economy at a time when others are looking for them. These are authentic and cannot be bought! This is Washington, and it makes us real! Let us embrace this, and if we will, our community will become more of a regional and state destination to live and work. They cost us nothing.

It is safe to say that Washington and its central business district have many other economic drivers that we will touch on in later articles. The arts, boating, antiques and retirement are economic drivers that can be built upon and are opportunities that we hope will grow in time. Our obvious warmth and care for others is a commodity that cannot be built or bought. More and more people are looking for a Washington and a Pamlico River with such good and caring people. Let us not take it for granted.

Please support our local merchants so that we can continue our vibrancy and sustainability. With the Christmas season approaching, please let me ask you to give our merchants the first opportunity, so that their holidays may be as profitable as yours. Until next week, please shop, dine and play in beautiful downtown Washington, N.C., and if you have time … take a walk with the H-Rob!

Harold Robinson is the executive director of the Washington Harbor District Alliance.