CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Editorials

May 1, 2013

Lasting partnerships

CULLMAN — Economic development officials have long noted the importance of expansions by existing industries and businesses in a community to lead growth.

With that in mind, Cullman ranks at the top in the state for new and expanding industry. The overall ranking reflects a strong showing locally in many key categories for economic growth.

The figures collected by the Alabama Development Office show that Cullman had more expanding industry than any other county in the state. The local effort was also tied for second in new industries, placing seventh in job creation and eighth in capital investment. The numbers place Cullman County in contention with much larger areas such as the Birmingham and Montgomery areas.

Cullman Economic Development Agency director Peggy Smith credits the quality and diversification of local industries for the success. Her point is right on target.

Local efforts to build a stronger economy are based on a commitment to adquately finance an economic development team and to employ creative tactics in helping industries locate here or expand.

Cullman recorded 50 new and expanding industries in 2012, which is a great accomplishment for a small city nestled between the major metropolitan areas of Huntsville and Birmingham. For business growth, Cullman has been carving out a deserved reputation as one of the state’s best.

Maintaining a commitment to the industries that have located here has also been a key part of building  a strong economy. The commitment to those industries has helped build strong community partners who support a variety of needs throughout the area.

Cullman has a number of reasons why economic development is successful here. But one of the most important points in this success story is that economic development is not just about landing new industries and jobs. The effort focuses just as much on welcoming businesses into the community and building lasting relationships that go far beyond dollars and cents.

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