Developments are promising

Published 11:41 am Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A rising tide raises all ships, as the saying goes. Here in Lawrence County, and across the region, new businesses hold the promise of improving the economy, and quality of life, for all of us.

In South Point, HarbisonWalker’s invest in a new $30 million monolithics plant promises to bring a number of new skilled positions to the community (though the company hasn’t released any figures yet), and is already creating construction jobs.

In neighboring Greenup County, Kentucky, Braidy Industries new $1.3 billion rolled aluminum plant will create 550 full-time jobs, with an average salary of  $75,000 per year. More importantly, through initiatives like Appalachian Sky, associated industries, like airplane manufacture, that make use of Braidy’s products could choose to locate here.

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Likewise the Green Envirotech Holdings project, which will employ up to 200 individuals when opened in Haverhill, also holds promise of attracting associated carbon-product based industries.

Another Greenup County project, Wright-Mix cement product’s new plant in Wurtland, Kentucky, will create 130 new full-time jobs as well.

All of these new jobs will put paychecks in people’s pockets — paychecks that they can then spend on products and services in our local economies.

Various studies show that for every $100 spent at locally-owned businesses, up to $48 is returned to recirculate through the local economy, whereas spending at chains only results in a $14 return. When it comes to restaurants, the return is even greater. Locally-owned restaurants recirculate up to 65 percent or more through the local community, and even chains recirculate 34 percent.

Shopping local and supporting development in our own towns and villages is important. But in the Tri-State, we’ve always had a regional focus. Our communities thrive or falter together. These new developments, here and in our neighboring communities, hold potential to benefit us all. Let’s celebrate these good things we have on our horizon.