Commissioner Fletcher speaks on attracting big businesses to Alb - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Commissioner Fletcher speaks on attracting big businesses to Albany

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
A new restaurant opening in northwest Albany early next year is expected to continue the trend of new businesses in the Albany economy.

Albany City Commissioner BJ Fletcher says small businesses are the backbone of the economy, but they also need to work on things to attract big employers.

Open Roads Smokehouse is just one of many new businesses that will be opened in 2015.

Owner and city commissioner BJ Fletcher says she was surprised to see it close in October, buts says its a great location, and people can expect some of the same food of the old place.

"Doing the steaks, the prime rib, the salads, the smoke, the ribs, pulled pork, brisket etc. And some healthy choices as well on there," says Commissioner Fletcher.

Other new businesses have recently opened up in Albany, including the Neighborhood Walmart.

Fletcher says small businesses are great, but city and county officials are working on ways to draw in big companies that will hire large numbers of workers.

"Ultimately its just a shell game that we are playing until we can attract the bigger businesses. Manufacturing's...we need the bigger jobs," she says.

While many recall the closure of big companies like Cooper Tire , Fletcher says the city needs to look forward, and work on ways to improve local schools, and lower the crime rate to draw in new companies.

" When a big business comes to your community they don't just drive in, they've already done their homework," she says.

She would also like to work on making things more friendly for small businesses.

"Its sometimes crazy when you have to go to this building and this building.. to get your permits. I would love to be a one-stop shop," says Fletcher.

Open Roads Smokehouse will open in mid January.

In November unemployment in Georgia fell to 7.2 percent, that's down from 7.6 percent in October.

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