Changes in Ironton depend on supporting locals

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 9, 2003

Ironton is changing, that's for sure. And I'm not just talking about the results of the mayor's race.

As I drive around the city, the visual landscape is changing and it's all thanks to the business entrepreneurs who call our city home.

Although my recollection will probably not be in chronological order, the first change I noticed was the relocation of Ironton Physical Therapy.

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The state-of-the-art facility revamped the former Burger King building on Third Street. Ironic, isn't it? The mantra of "would you like fries with that?" has changed into "push, push, you can do one more!"

C&S Guns relocated into a new location on Second Street making way for Cochran and Company pools to expand.

Classic Bank, who endured heavy public criticism for closing a location after purchasing First Federal, has begun unveiling its plans for the future. Recently, the company began construction on a new, expanded facility on Park Avenue.

More recently, one of Ironton's new car dealers, Integrity Motors announced plans to expand its downtown location.

I'm sure I'm leaving out a few, but the message is pretty clear. Businesses in Ironton can survive and even thrive.

Much energy seems to be focused on what Ironton isn't anymore. It isn't the world's leading supplier of pig iron. It isn't the home of a huge iron production plant. It isn't the headquarters of a major sporting goods manufacturer.

Nope, Ironton is none of those things anymore. But its people, the ones who made all of those other wonderful things possible, are still here. And those people make Ironton a great place to live and have a business.

All of those businesses wouldn't be moving and shaking and expanding and growing if business was awful.

Economically, things will only get better when the new bridge linking Ironton to U.S. 23 in Russell, Ky., is finished.

In the meantime, residents who say they want things to get better in our town should put their money where their mouths are. Shop here. Sure, I realize that Ironton doesn't have everything a person might need to buy, however, it does offer a number of shopping options.

And by exploring those options, the city's economy will improve.

The advertisers on the pages of this newspaper and the businesses who sponsor Little League teams and who pay for support ads in high school football programs are the companies who care about the people in our county. Those businesses believe in the people and their buying power and those are businesses to support. All of the companies listed above are ones that are moving and growing in Ironton and those are companies who have made a commitment to Ironton and Lawrence County.

If you want things to get better here in our county, think about their commitment each time you need to make a purchase. Can you help them keep their commitment to our community?

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Ironton Tribune. He can be reached at (740) 532-1445 ext. 12 or by e-mail to