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Despite the sad news for the area that a cabinet manufacturer has resigned — possibly just temporarily — its interest in expanding its facility into the city due to a failing economy nationwide, there's still hope for Galax and the Twin Counties through alternatives, like The Crooked Road, to keep the local economy moving forward.
But instead of dwelling on what the area doesn't have, local leaders are concentrating on what it does — scenery, arts, culture and music. Without having to spend millions of dollars, those attributes are becoming an industry of their own.
Robert Jones, who helped complete a study on The Crooked Road initiative, announced last Tuesday that direct spending because of the initiative was at $13 million and the music trail had an overall economic impact of $23 million. And while local economies are being rejuvenated through this initiative, the good thing is that The Crooked Road can't be shipped overseas.
It's not just The Crooked Road that will, in the future, draw more cash flow and industries, it's also projects such as the Wired Road broadband plan, which has attracted attention from as far away as New Hampshire and will hopefully bring in high-tech employers; and Chestnut Creek School of Arts, which will open next year to as both a tourist destination and a place to turn hobbies into careers in the arts.
Then there's the Crossroads Institute, which announced last week a new scholarship program and new educational offerings.
These are just some projects that will not only contribute to the growth of the local economy, but will help make Galax and the Twin Counties a perfect spot to set up business for manufactures, high-tech employers and even the small shops around the corner.
The good news is that we didn't “lose” an industry. We just got a rain check.
Even though the unnamed cabinet manufacturer decided to not to expand at all, the city received a letter from the company revealing its strong interest in Galax and its plans to be in contact again once the economy is rebuilt.