Money well spent

Published 9:23 pm Wednesday, October 8, 2008

As the stock market sags and banks continue to get a taste of the wrong side of bankruptcy, it would be easy to take a dim view of the future of business growth in Suffolk. After all, dwindling monetary resources and reduced consumer and stockholder confidence often translate into fewer opportunities for a company to expand.

So why are we glad that the city of Suffolk has filled the position of economic development director, vacant since Tom O’Grady left in July? Couldn’t the city have saved taxpayers a little money by hesitating a while longer to fill the job?

With the skyrocketing energy costs and taxes on the rise, some taxpayers may, in fact, have wished that the city had left the position open, at least ‘until times get better.’ Unfortunately, by the time the economy improves, it will be too late to begin courting businesses in an effort to attract them to Suffolk. In fact, lower real estate prices, higher energy costs and great stock values could combine to make this a great time for companies with strong profit-and-loss statements to consider expanding into new markets or backfilling in their existing ones.

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Despite the alarming recent news from Wall Street, most folks realize the economy is cyclical. What goes down eventually comes back up.

Hiring a new economic development director who can build relationships with those companies that are poised to take advantage of today’s values or tomorrow’s market uptick means that Suffolk is making itself ready to offer a product again.

That’s money well-spent, even in a down market.