A good place to spend the recession

Published 8:04 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2010

As the nation’s economy took a dive in 2009, Suffolk businesses and industries felt the pressure, but most of them held their own. Surely there were Suffolk victims of the economic downturn — construction trades, real estate interests, home improvement and furniture stores are among the more obvious. But so far, the city has avoided the massive shocks that have rattled even some of its nearest neighbors.

In fact, a drive around Suffolk shows development continuing, even in the face of the nation’s recession. It’s good news for the city, for businesses located there, for taxpayers and for residents looking for jobs.

But it’s news that comes as a result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people who have dedicated themselves to the improvement of the city’s economic situation and the expansion of its tax base.

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A city that has sometimes struggled with its transition from sleepy, rural town to bustling industrial and technological center, Suffolk has by necessity courted a diverse collection of potential industrial, business and retail suitors. From the high-tech modeling and simulation companies of North Suffolk to the warehousing and shipping industries of the Route 58 corridor, it has been necessary for the city’s economic development officials to prove that Suffolk can support a vast array of businesses.

That effort has paid off during the recession, as Suffolk has found itself able to weather the economic storm that has lashed the nation and some surrounding communities through the stability provided by broad employment and tax bases.

Even better, those broad foundations provide a solid base on which to build even more employment and tax revenue as the recession ends and companies begin looking for places to invest.

If the city can continue to raise standards in its schools and begin focusing on improving its roads and other infrastructure, the future could be very bright for Suffolk. City officials are looking for a new slogan, but — at least in light of Suffolk’s standing through the recession — the old one still seems appropriate: It’s a good time to be in Suffolk.