FAIRFIELD COUNTY — Members of the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce received food for thought as well as their stomachs at the monthly members breakfast.
The event included insights into upcoming events and information about economic development as well as breakfast.
“It’s great to see such a great group here this early in the morning,” said Terry Vickers, president of the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce.
Sarah Bryant, who has a doctorate in economics from the University of South Carolina, recently co-wrote a paper partially pertaining to economic development in Winnsboro, which is being considered for publication in “Economic Development Quarterly.”
Bryant provided a synopsis of some of the information and some general insights into economic development.
She compared 11 economic development factors to a cairn, or stack of stones, and stressed the importance of balance and stability.
The 11 economic development factors ranked from least to most easy to change were identified as geography and climate; land and physical capital; economic base, energy, work force, community culture, research environment, education, tax structure, medical and EMS services, financial capital and leadership.
“There are 11 economic factors in general, with a lot of subcategories underneath, and what we have done is taken the economic development factors, we added to it, but then we created a visual model that can help towns be able to see what their development needs are,” Bryant said.
Bryant shared some economic development factors she feels are favorable to Winnsboro and Fairfield County, including climate and proximity to research centers including Columbia and Charlotte. Bryant said the area is capable of having a bright developmental future and shared her fondness for Winnsboro.
“Winnsboro is the friendliest town I’ve seen in the world — literally,” Bryant said. “I love it here.”
Bryant presented the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce with a banner that read “Shop Winnsboro First.”
During a round table segment, and before Bryant’s presentation, upcoming events and community news were shared.
Bill Haslett said his location on South Congress Street in downtown Winnsboro is two weeks from opening, and will offer a variety of goods to the community.
“I am going to have antiques, we’ll have consignments, and we’ll have the Big Green Egg,” Haslett said. “We should be open within two weeks.”
Jimmy Burroughs, director of Christ Central Ministries in Winnsboro, said Mission Ridge Golf and Leadership Center is close to opening its restaurant as well.
Tina Johnson, chair for Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce, shared the news that Dan and Robbie Martin, owners of Palmer Street Market, had purchased the Cotton Yard Market, and Karen and Carter Siegling would be opening the Ridgeway Station Cafe.
Fairfield County Sheriff Will Montgomery reminded members of churches that might be interested in church security information, or members of communities interested in a community meeting with Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office to contact FCSO.
Vickers reminded those in attendance creating a vibrant business environment begins with the determination to support local businesses.
“Until we all come together and support what’s already here, people that are looking to expand or an entrepreneur looking to start a new businesses, they’re looking at traffic, they’re looking at numbers, and as long as we keep the mentality of going out of Fairfield County for things we could get in Fairfield County, we are not going to see retail growth,” Vickers said.
Reach Ben Hohenstatt at 803-635-4016. Follow him on Twitter @WinnsboroHerald