Surry County, located on the border of Virginia, has a rich history deeply rooted in its small-town charm and picturesque landscapes. Like many other small towns across America, Surry County’s economy was once reliant on industries such as textiles, tobacco, and furniture. However, with the changing dynamics of the global economy, these industries have seen a decline. In this article, we will explore what sets Surry County apart and delve into its economic potential as we take a journey across the 100.
One of the reasons Surry County stands out is its town, Mount Airy. Often referred to as Mayberry, it embodies the essence of small-town America. As one of the city commissioners put it, Mount Airy is “nice to live in a place that other people want to come and visit.” The town has a distinct charm that attracts visitors from near and far.
Beyond Mount Airy, Surry County is characterized by a mix of agriculture and industry. While there is not as much industry as the locals would prefer, there are still some significant developments. In 2018, the Department of Commerce reported 157 announcements of new plant openings or expansions in the state, bringing in a staggering $3.5 billion in investments and creating 19,700 jobs. Notably, 70% of these opportunities went to small towns and rural counties. Despite being a small community, Surry County did not receive any of these opportunities, highlighting the urgent need for more industry and job opportunities in the area.
The so-called “boom” that is occurring across the country predominantly takes place in metropolitan areas. This often forces workers from smaller towns, like Surry County, to commute long distances for work. However, envisioning the potential of having a thriving industry on their doorstep, local officials believe it would not only eliminate the need for commutes but also attract citizens from nearby areas like Winston. This would create a positive economic ripple effect, stimulating growth and prosperity for all small towns facing similar struggles.
As Surry County prepares for the upcoming 2020 elections, residents express a leaning toward conservatism. They appreciate the progress that has been made in the country over the past few years and hope for it to continue. However, they also recognize the deep divisions within the federal government, where political affiliations often take precedence over fulfilling the responsibilities of public office. The redrawing of North Carolina’s districts stands as a prime example of how partisan politics can result in endless controversies and legal battles. Yet, this is a common occurrence across the nation, where each party redraws district lines to their advantage, perpetuating the cycle of divisiveness.
Local politics is a subject of keen interest for many residents of Surry County, with some even equating it to a sport. However, unlike sports, the outcome of political decisions has direct consequences on people’s lives. It is not just about the final score but rather the laws and regulations they must abide by. This realization emphasizes the importance of responsible and effective governance, devoid of partisan interests.
In conclusion, Surry County is a place brimming with potential. Its small-town charm, exemplified by Mount Airy, holds a unique allure that draws visitors from far and wide. However, to fully harness its economic potential, Surry County needs an infusion of new industries and job opportunities. By doing so, they can provide residents with stable, full-time employment and foster growth within the community. The upcoming elections will play a crucial role in shaping the future of Surry County, as its residents seek leaders who prioritize the well-being of the community above political gain.
So, as we embark on this journey across the 100, let us not only appreciate the rich heritage and small-town charm of Surry County but also recognize the possibilities that lie ahead. By investing in the right industries and prioritizing the needs of its people, Surry County can overcome the challenges it faces and carve a path towards a prosperous future.