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Growth shows we have much to offer

Posted: June 23, 2013 - 12:03am

Columbia County should be modestly proud of itself these days.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Census Bureau released data showing our county to be one of the fastest-growing in the nation.

The latest census figures indicate Columbia County’s population grew by a little more than 6 percent, or about 7,600 people, between 2010 and 2012.

Everyone likes to be on a list of national leaders in positive categories. This category, however, is special for what it implies: A growing county means it has something to offer. There are reasons people want to live here.

Most of us know that. The schools are excellent, the amenities are good, the government is efficient and the business climate is upbeat and inclusive.

Tammy Shepherd, president and CEO of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, attributed the county’s ongoing boom to good government and good schools.

Both aspects drive a good business climate.

Census estimates put Columbia County’s median household income at about $66,500. That’s about 34 percent higher that the statewide median household income and about 70 percent higher than the median income in Richmond County.

Shepherd said Census figures are a big driver for new business, especially national retail chains and franchisers looking for growing markets.

Shepherd also points out the county benefits from a stable economy and a diverse mix of government, military, medical and industrial employers, providing good incomes for professionals and skilled laborers alike.

Are we perfect?

No.

Could we improve things in our schools, in our government and in our economy?

Of course.

But overall, Columbia County continues to be one of the best places in Georgia to live, work and raise a family.

Our growth, as shown by the recent Census numbers, proves that point.

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