The best news we’ve had in years

Every week there seems to be another positive economic headline on the newspaper’s front page.

As columnist Steve Fletcher pointed out Wednesday, this is a stark contrast to the way it used to be. For several years the stories that dominated the front page were ones dealing with high unemployment figures, dwindling school enrollments, layoffs or other economically depressing stories.

That is no longer the case, and we’re excited about that.

Throughout the region good economic news stories now are the ones landing on the front page. Just this week Alpena Convention and Visitors Bureau President Mary Beth Stutzman shared that next year a new cruise line will be making Alpena a port of call, including laying overnight here. Another story dealt with all the extra activity at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center with various units from across the globe here participating in Operation Northern Strike.

That news follows the announcements earlier this month of two new motels destined for Alpena, updates on the construction progress of the new Meijer store and last month, word that Moran Iron Works had entered into a purchase agreement to obtain 26 acres of land in Rogers City’s Air Commerce Industrial Park.

It has been years since so many positive stories dominated the front page.

To put things into perspective, Jim Klarich, Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce Economic director, said since word of the Meijer project was made public last September, his office has “successfully attracted” in excess of $32,000,000 of outside investment into the Alpena area.

As Klarich said, “that’s a lot of cash.”

Indeed it is. That is exactly what economic development can, and will, create for a region.

And, the good news is this – the positive economic stories are only the beginning.