It’s that time of year we all do some reflections to express our thankfulness.  It’s been a tough year for a lot of folks, but let’s see where we’ve come.  In February of 2008 we had layoffs at Mt. Vernon as well as other industries in the county.  Our unemployment rate quickly hit the 20% mark.

Soon after, Congress passed a massive farm bill which contained a small item of price support for cotton of just a few pennies a pound.  The support was enough to offset the global impact of high cotton prices and help to make Mt. Vernon competitive again on the global market in denim manufacturing.  So far, last year marked the bottom of this downturn for Chattooga County.

While our unemployment rate is still not good at the 11.4% mark we are way ahead of the 20% low point, and I for one am thankful for that!

The other items for our thanks this holiday season:

Chattooga is the only county in Northwest Georgia that did not have a plant location closing in the past couple years.

If you slip on a pair of jeans…the denim was probably manufactured at the “World’s Largest Denim Manufacturer” right here in Trion.

If you go to the doctor or hospital and they put on those disposable latex gloves to insure they don’t spread dreadful flu germs… chances are they we made by Showa-Best Glove right here in Menlo.

If your traveling on our interstates and pass a Tanger Outlet Mall chances are the steel in their building was manufactured right here by Smith Iron Works in Lyerly.

When the President walks through Andrews Air Force base just outside of Washington the carpet was made right here at Tri-Con Tufters in Lyerly. 

If you get a chance to visit the White House chances are the carpet you’ll walk on was made right here in Mohawk’s Lyerly plant with synthetic carpet fiber made at Summerville’s Mohawk plant using soda bottles that you may have thought to recycle right here in Chattooga County.

Thanks to the hard work of the professionals in our school systems in Chattooga County and the expertise of Georgia Northwestern we were the first certified work ready community of excellence in Northwest Georgia and one the the first 11 in all of Georgia.

I’m also thankful we’ve seen several new businesses like Aaron’s and Marvin’s make substantial investment in the future of our county and create jobs and provide tax support for our citizens.  We hope many other companies will follow their lead.

As you travel to destinations across our country to catch up with family and friends this Thanksgiving weekend pray for guidance as we move forward in these challenging times.  Most of all, remember those who are not with us because they are away protecting our interest around the world.

Thanks for your support this past year!

David Tidmore
Chattooga County
Chamber of Commerce