While many aspects of Valdosta’s economy have survived a national downturn, one sector hasn't faired as well.
"In 2001 we had 113 manufactures in our community, now we only have 104. Those 9 we lost accounted for about a thousand jobs. And of course manufacturing provides your higher paying jobs,” comments Andy Deal of the Chamber of Commerce.
Local economic leaders say the recently released business retention and expansion process report should help identify problems, and help create more jobs.
"The BREP survey and the information that's gained from that, finds out what info is on the growth or decline or whatever people have for the next year. Its very helpful,” says Ronnie Caldwell.
This report says 35-percent of the manufactures in the Valdosta plan on expanding during the next year.
And business leaders say expansion is the best indicator the South Georgia economy has turned around.
And the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce is projecting more than $1 million worth of manufacturing expansion during the next 12 months.
Valdosta business leaders say another indicator that South Georgia’s economy is getting back on track is the growing number of new homes under construction.