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A good sign for us all

Driving down through the south end of Suffolk, crossing into Gates County, N.C., you will find a business with a proudly-displayed sign saying something to the effect of “We’ve decided not to participate in the recession.”

The sign provides a defiant and very capitalistic tone against the current state of our nation’s economy and the driving spirit that has often resonated from small to mid-sized companies, family-owned shops and quaint stores throughout our area, state and country.

The much-debated bailouts of some of our auto dealers and banking institutions left many other struggling businesses wondering where their bailout was. And, when the answer was that bailouts for small businesses were long in coming and short in immediate return, the entrepreneurial spirit of our country took over.

Company presidents, business owners and store managers were forced to make tough decisions to keep their businesses strong. Yes, people were laid off but in many ways, items that were once considered essential found their place in the “luxury” pile and were replaced with extra effort, creative thinking and innovative processes.

In short, our country has “decided not to participate in the recession.”

Is unemployment too high? Yes.

Is government spending on pork projects unnecessary and in need of cutting? Yes.

Do those who are without work and looking for employment deserve our support and best efforts? Most definitely.

The growth in our “little neck of the woods” is in many ways uncommon. We have seen new businesses coming in. We have seen jobs created in new and innovative fields such as modeling and simulation.

But, we have had stores close, neighbors laid off and budgetary cuts demanded at every level of government.

Our state, our city and our nation have seen recessions before and this one shows signs of loosening its grip. Retail sales are improving, some jobs are being added back and the general demeanor of many is improving as the springtime temperatures inch higher.

This business’ sign has no doubt brought a smile to many who have come through the front door, but its meaning is more than humorous — it is a representation of our country’s spirit.