Count your blessings
Published 10:53 pm Wednesday, December 31, 2008
My New Year's resolution is to watch less CNN. Nothing against the journalists on the network, but the sense of doom and gloom you get from the national media is overwhelming - and can rob you of some much-needed perspective.
Not that I want to bury my head in the sand about the economy. We are in a recession, and it's likely that things are going to get worse before they get better.
But - particularly in our area of the state - things were not that bad in the first place.
We have seen some job losses in our region, especially in Monroeville, where several businesses have shut their doors temporarily or permanently.
Here at home, we have seen some small layoffs and temporary shutdowns, but we have also seen a major new retailer open its doors, and others had a thriving business during the holiday season. Brewton's Citation plant announced it had secured a five-year, $200 million contract for its products.
Elsewhere in south Alabama, many companies are hiring: ThyssenKrupp, Austal, Atlantic Marine, Evonik Degussa and SSAB Steel - all of whom happen to be joining Coastal Gateway Economic Development Authority for a job fair on Jan. 8 in Thomasville and Jan. 9 in Monroeville.
When gas prices rose higher and higher last spring, Brewton started receiving more sales tax revenue - a likely byproduct of more people shopping at home. Even with lower gas prices this winter, new local retail opportunities are keeping shoppers at home, which is good news for local coffers.
Local charities have reported an increase in needs among area residents, but, at least this past Christmas, they also received an influx of donations. We need to keep up that spirit of giving throughout the coming year as more of our neighbors need more help.
We have survived tougher times than these - and we will prevail again, with some common sense and some creative thinking.
Not as many lucky stars are falling all over Alabama right now, but neither is the sky falling.
This year, I'll be counting my blessings as I turn off the TV - it'll save money on the power bill, anyway.
Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 251-867-4876 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.