Pike County economy strong in 2011

Published 10:15 am Friday, December 30, 2011

During very difficult economic times, Pike County not only held its own economically during 2011, it even prospered.

With the addition of Golden Boy Foods in 2011 and the expansion of several existing industries, Pike County has been blessed, said Marsha Gaylard, Pike County Economic Development Corporation president.

“Having Golden Boy Foods locate in Troy was one more step in the direction that we want to go,” Gaylard said. “The potential for 150 more jobs in Pike County is huge. We have been very fortunate that Pike County’s unemployment rate has ranked between number three and four in the state the past three years and has recently dropped to 6.6 percent. That is due to the fact that our businesses are holding their own and to the expansion of several of our existing industries. We are blessed to have not lost businesses and to have been able to recruit two major businesses in the last two years, Golden Boy and CGI.”

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Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said, too, that the recruitment of Golden Boy Foods, which will produce peanut butter initially and, by the middle of 2012, also run a line of almond butter, is a good thing.

“With the downturn in the economy, Golden Boy came on board and helped make 2011 an unbelievable year for Troy and Pike County,” Lunsford said. “The expansion at KW Plastics, equipment and all, will be several million dollars and that will have a big impact on the local economy.”
Lunsford said CGI continues to grow, now with 200 employees.

“When you have companies like CGI, Sikorsky Support Services and Lockheed that continue to create jobs and positively impact the community, that is an indication that the economic future is bright,” Lunsford said. “The future is bright for Troy, also, in that we also have two promising retail prospects. And, with the completion of a new library, public works facility and nutrition center for our seniors, we are looking forward to a prosperous New Year.”

Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage is also looking for a prosperous New Year based on increased sales tax revenue and the expansion of local industries.

“Our sales tax revenue was up $59,000 in 2011 and that means that local businesses are doing better,” Ramage said. “The low rate of employment in Pike County supports that the existing businesses are able to maintain their employees and that’s especially good during these economic times.”

Ramage said that the city’s two food industries, Southern Classic Foods and Supreme Oil, have both increased production as has Brundidge Electronics Corporation.

“When industries increase production that’s a very positive sign,” he said. “With increased production comes the probability of new jobs.”

Ramage said the city’s utility rates remained steady during 2011, the addition to the public library was completed and the city was able to purchase the old doctor’s building for use as a mini-courthouse.

“We got another L.E.D. grant and that was positive and we finally completed our planning grant and it will be implemented in 2012, so we are looking forward to a prosperous New Year in Brundidge and all of Pike County.”