Growth Projections in Valdosta

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2005 is forecasted to be a year full of strong economic growth around metro Valdosta, according to business developers who've been hard at work trying to bring new businesses into the region.

2004 has been a quiet year for new industrial expansion in Valdosta-Lowndes County, but community leaders say the conditions are right for a lot of growth.

Ken Garren, Industrial Authority Director, says, "I think the business community is starting to feel more confident in the economy, so there's more people looking. We're responding to more and more projects which come in from either consultants from the state or other large developers."

Local business leaders say 2005 should be a great year when trying to recruit new business to the industrial parks around Lowndes County. They also say there is a lot of good news on hand for those businesses who've already been in place and contribute to the south Georgia economy.

Garren adds, "Right now our emphasis has been on major expansion at the local companies with our existing industries, which we sometimes tend to forget. We've got two major expansions we're working on right now and have been for the past several months."

That means the next 12 months should be fun for local industrial developers.

"I've always said when it stops being fun, I'll retire, but right now I'm really looking forward to 2005."

That's news a lot of job seekers and business leaders have been looking forward to as well. I

n addition to added new jobs in the Valdosta area, the expected business expansion will also grow the tax base, helping fund needed local government projects.