Keeping the jobs coming

When we realized that Shelby County no longer has the state’s lowest unemployment rate, it was a slight shock. We’re used to our county being so economically stable that it’s disconcerting to realize that other counties, like Madison, can catch up.

However, Shelby County is still in a great position. Our unemployment rate of 7.6 percent is just slightly higher than Madison’s rate of 7.5 percent.

We got in this enviable position by being aggressive in recruiting businesses. With our proximity to one of the state’s largest cities in Birmingham and our reputation as the state’s fastest-growing county, businesses are looking for space in Shelby County.

New businesses are constantly cropping up. We just have to make sure those businesses find the niches that will allow them to weather the economic storm.

Our citizens must help too, even if it’s just by going to a local restaurant or checking out local shops for gift ideas while Christmas shopping. If you haven’t spent time in your city’s business district, you’ll likely be amazed at the finds you can uncover.

Right now, every little bit helps. If current businesses survive, then other businesses will come in with job opportunities.

Waiting for the economy to stabilize doesn’t mean we should wait to try to attract businesses. New businesses that come into the county right now just give us a chance to hit the ground running when the economy catches up.