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POSTED: December 13, 2007 5:00 a.m.

My family is made of local people. My husband and I both grew up around here. When we left for my naval transfer, it didn’t take long before we were ready to come back. Bryan County was growing before we left. It was booming when we got back. We are in awe of our community on a regular basis. We have lunches at the local restaurants - some are home grown, others are franchises. We drive five minutes for groceries, medical care, picture framing, designer shoes, formal gowns, spa treatments, hair dressers, and physical fitness. The drive to Savannah happens less frequently now. I have to say how wonderfully convenient that is, especially with the current gas prices.

These great movements in our community are not without their difficulties. Growth can be uncomfortable, unplanned, and counterproductive to the lifestyle some residents are trying to maintain. This is clearly evidenced by our recent elections. There was not one topic that was more heated than that of community growth. Green space, density, zoning, and developer and city responsibility created enough discussion to fill this newspaper ten times.

It is right that growth be a major factor in community discussion. Residential growth feeds commercial growth feeds residential growth. The cycle continues. This "circle of life" so to speak touches everything it comes into contact with. Increased population tells residential developers that they need to build more houses, more subdivisions, and entice you with amenities. Everyone needs a place to live, we have houses, folks move here, and we experience population growth.

Population growth directly impacts school systems, traffic patterns, and community resources. Increased demands on these venues affects city budget which means it affects your taxes. It also suggests that there is revenue to be made. So our area becomes more attractive to grocery stores, shopping centers, retail outlets, service providers, and a variety of other businesses.

Now our community is a comfortable place to live. Homes are nice and new, school systems fare well in national testing, commercial development adds convenience, and we have a great little spot on the map. This draws more people looking to relocate to a nice area. See the cycle?

But growth has a funny way of creating its own momentum. It is not often you can step out in front of it and say, "Okay. Stop now. This is far enough." If everyone agreed, maybe you could make growth stop all together and just maintain. Or you go the other route and see just how big you can make the rubber band ball. But, as is in all communities (except the one in that horror movie), we will not all agree. But, we must continue to discuss. In order to do that, we must have information.

That’s where I and the Bryan County Business News Business Page come in. It is my goal to provide you with information concerning multiple points of interest in our growing business community. This page will focus on local businesses, incoming corporations, impact of development, current business practices, and a host of topics in the business environment. And we obviously have an ever expanding business environment.

We hear on a regular basis of the new businesses being developed. Projects are being planned. Bryan County has gone so far as to successfully complete the state designated "Entrepreneurial Friendly" Program to assist new businesses.

 

We hope to keep you well informed of these community happenings. Some of that will come from things I hear myself. Most of it will come from things you tell me. I look forward to working with and in the community to inform and explore all things in "Bryan Business."

 

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