Bad news, good news on the economy -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Bad news, good news on the economy

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – There's more bad news for the our economy. Unemployment reached a whopping 11.8% in metro Albany in January. While that news is grim, there's also positive economic news for our area.

The University of Georgia ranked 100 of the fastest growing businesses owned by UGA alumni, and three of them are in Albany.

This is the first year the University of Georgia's alumni association has compiled the list. Rankings are based on the rate of growth of revenues for the past three years, and to have three Albany businesses make it on the list is a bright spot in a dark economy.

The past few years have been rough on almost every industry. Law firms across the state have had to lay off attorneys, yet Moore, Clarke, Duvall and Rogers, of which UGA grad Jim Moore is a founding partner, is growing. He said, "We've been able to grow despite the economic downturn through hard work and dedication of our clients and we're just pleased and thankful that's been the case."

It's also the case at Doherty, Duggan and Rouse Insurors. Rick Doherty said, "It's a culture, really, that everyone here has. We're employee owned and that goes a long way. Everyone acts as owners, so we're all pushing each other and setting the bar pretty high and always looking for the next level."

And it's one they've been able to reach. Opening branch offices across the state.  Doherty said, "You feel honored, but you feel very humbled and first thoughts are about all the folks that helped you get here."  And all the folks that aren't quite as fortunate.

Even while these businesses are growing, they've taken steps to control their spending, making certain the economic crunch doesn't hurt them as well.  Leonard Duggan said, "We, like others, have watched our money this year. Even though we're growing, we've had to watch what we do."

In order to continue to grow away from the recession. "Well, we're glad we've been able to buck the trend," said Moore.  And have revenues that trend upward.

More than 400 businesses were nominated for the Bulldog 100. Finances of each company were inspected by a third party to determine if they qualified as one of the fastest growing bulldog owned businesses.

Walter Kelley of Kelley, Lovett and Blakey in Albany was also listed on the Bulldog 100.

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