Moultrie sees great economic growth - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Moultrie sees great economic growth

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February 1, 2006

Moultrie-- Good news for Georgia's economy. Hundreds of new jobs could soon come to south Georgia and a state commission set up to bring in business is doing better than ever. One South Georgia city is becoming a shining star of economic development.

Traffic is flowing and the fire is going strong in "The City of Southern Living". "I think it's a great place to live and raise a family," says Chamber of Commerce President Darrell Moore. Moultrie is proving to be a good place for family and it's also a good place for business.

"2006 has already started out with a bang. We've already had new businesses open," says Main Street Director Amy Johnson. In Downtown Moultrie, store windows show signs of a work in progress as new establishments begin to open. "Our community, Colquitt County and Moultrie is centered right here in the middle which is downtown Moultrie," says Johnson.

Right down the street, the Envy Salon Studio colors the way to what will hopefully bring even more small businesses to the area. "For a small town like Moultrie that's growing, small businesses need to grow with it," says Envy Salon Studio owner DJ Armstrong. More businesses mean more jobs. In less than five years, 2000 jobs have been created thanks to industries like National Beef, Icehouse America, and Sanderson Farms.

"Just Sanderson Farms with their salaries and annual payroll for the plant and and all the grower payouts will be over 50 million dollars a year," says Moore. And just as strong is the demand for housing.

"We've got fourteen or fifteen new subdivisions that are under development and some of them have already started building. Some of them are in the planning stages so we feel like the population is growing," says Moore. Moore says since 1990, Colquitt County's population has grown from about 36,000 to 46,000 people but the challenge is continuing to attract new residential and commercial development.

"That's probably the biggest challenge for us or anybody else, getting them to come and look," says Moore. For some, the city is already a perfect fit. "Oh yes, I already feel at home," says Armstrong.

When more businesses and people make the City of Southern Living home, the fire will continue to grow into something even bigger.

"Hopefully a bright future," says Moore.

The city also has about 100 acres around Sanderson Farms. They plan to make it an upscale business park. Over the next six to nine months, they'll start going after specific industries to fill the spaces. City leaders hope the Citizens Business Park will attract even more high paying jobs to the area.

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