Southwest Georgia businesses optimistic about BRAC list - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Southwest Georgia businesses optimistic about BRAC list

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Albany- For some, business is booming in Albany.

"Our business has grown about 12 percent since then and it's on that market to go another 12 percent and that's our goal," said Bob Merritt, Cici's Pizza.

Cici's pizza started just a year an a half ago. They do business with MCLB and on the eve of the BRAC announcement they're optimistic.

"They've really increased the uses of the marine base, purposefully. They've gone to multi service, they're not just the marines, they're multi service contractors for all the other services, so I think they've set themselves up in a good position to stay open," said Merritt.

Roger Hendley is also hopeful. Six months ago he started Southern Decorative Curbing with his family and says this business community is strong.

"Albany has overcome the closing of Firestone and also the closing of the Naval base and have always come back strong," said Hendley.

He believes people and businesses here will carry on whatever the decision.

"Just the people, just the culture here, they're just strong willed people and they'll overcome," said Hendly.

If a closure is announced, companies like Albany Area Primary Health Care say they're ready to lend a hand.

"Through cutbacks, through down sizing whatever will occur certainly then. They're going to still need to access health care and it will be very important for the rest of the communities to step up to the plate," said Linda Leeson, COO Albany Area Primary Health Care.

Reba Stewart who works for Suntrust and is also on the Chamber's committee to deal with the commission if a closure is announced says the fight will continue, whatever the announcement.

"I feel that if we're on the list we've got an action plan to get off the list, so a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes by corporate citizens that are interested in the community," said Stewart.

She too remains encouraged that the Albany business community will pull through.

"If we're on the list we're going to work really hard to get off the list so you know it's not the end of the world," said Stewart.

But it would be the beginning of a long hard fight. Business owners told us they hope MCLB will expand and help the area's business community grow. If Friday's news is goodthe Chamber will continue to fight for the base to keep it off the final closure list.

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