“We haven’t seen the amount of good success — I feel — that we should have,” she said during a monthly luncheon hosted by the Powdersville Council of the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce.
But she also indicated that the situation isn’t nearly as bad as some believe.
“Times aren’t as bad as you think they are,” she said.
In the fourth quarter of 2008, the Economic Development office discussed 28 new prospects and five proposed expansions.
Year to date, the Economic Development Office has discussed 30 industrial prospects and six commercial prospects, she said.
But despite Anderson County’s many positive aspects — its low cost of living, high quality of life, proximity to Lake Hartwell and many miles of interstate — it still has some hurdles to overcome, Jones said.
Several of I-85 key intersections lack appropriate sewer, and there aren’t enough available major facilities’ that companies can move into quickly, she said. Then, there’s the issue of negative public relations that comes with having a controversial county council.
“It is hard for us to get past what we are reading in the paper,” — that’s a comment Jones says she’s heard from several interested prospects.
But the key to Anderson County’s success will not come just by having a certain number of available buildings or by developing the county’s sewer needs, she said.
As manufacturing jobs have plummeted in the last several years, many parts of the Upstate have begun to realize the need to diversify and look to other industries for support.
“We have to start thinking of innovation now,” she said.
For more information about the county’s Economic Development office, call 260-4386.
“Small businesses and large businesses and everything in the middle … give us a call, and if we don’t have an answer, then we are going to find the answer,” Jones said.