It’s not as bad as it seems

Published 1:28 am Saturday, October 17, 2009

I’m sure everyone’s tired of hearing about the economy and how bad it is.

It’s on every channel. Pick up a large metro newspaper and those stories are easy to find.

So, how about a little good news?

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Have you driven around Demopolis lately?

In what pundits call the worst economic condition in modern history, Demopolis has managed to open several new businesses.

About a year ago, Dr. Ronnie Chu christened his new clinic on Highway 80. That clinic and its adjacent storefronts have since attracted two new businesses: Lu Lu’s and Boone’s Pharmacy.

Shortly thereafter, Sweet Water State Bank opened a branch in Demopolis and broke ground for a new, larger facility along Highway 80.

Ironically enough, Boone’s Pharmacy was borne from the demise of our local Food World and its pharmacy.

Fred’s soon followed the Boones in opening a pharmacy of its own.

Marvin’s opted to expand its operation, moving from its Cedar Street location to a new, larger facility in the Demopolis Gateway Plaza. As Marvin’s took up residency the entire strip underwent a tremendous facelift.

Soon, Aaron’s opened its doors across from Wal-Mart and construction was beginning on “something” across the street.

Damaged by fire, Main Moon Chinese Restaurant opted to relocate to a stall in the newly renovated Gateway Plaza, occupying yet another spot in the now-bustling strip.

The Parr family remodeled and christened its third Chevron service station in Demopolis several weeks ago, upgrading its facilities and what it can offer to the west side of our community.

That something being built in front of Wal-Mart turned out to be Penn’s Catfish Restaurant, which opened last week, and Thursday Gateway Plaza welcomed its newest tenant in Hudson’s Dirt Cheap.

Not to be outdone, the longest tenured tenant of Gateway Plaza — Demopolis Marketplace — is preparing to expand its store into the adjacent opening, adding a bakery and deli along with expanding its current selection. Maison de Fleur took over for Maison de Briques and Lindsey’s expanded its selection.

Over the past 12 months, there have also been a host of family-owned and operated businesses who have set up shop in our community — far too many to name here. And there are many more — businesses who have been around for many years — who have toughed out this economic storm and prospered in spite of it.

Nationally, things may be tough. And I realize there have been many people in our county touched and troubled by housing, credit and job crunches.

However, when so many people across the map have been asking, “Will this ever get any better,” Demopolis has been fortunate that we can say, “It sure could have been a lot worse.”

Jason Cannon is publisher of the Demopolis Times.