As textile jobs have disappeared and business people have struggled to find opportunity, promoting communities for development has become and objective.
That is true in Anderson and Pendleton, Pickens, Six Mile and downtown Easley.
To a lesser extent that promotional effort has been true in Easley’s east end where business is booming.
Cindy Hopkins, present of the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce sees that as a good sign for that part of the community, but also for the whole region.
She sees it as a sign of developer confidence in the region.
Fit squarely between Greenville, Powdersville and Pickens County, Towne Center development has been a hub of commercial building for the area in the last five years. The last three years have seen the arrival of big box stores like Wal-Mart’s Supercenter, Academy Sports, Marshall’s and Sams. Surrounding those have been a host of smaller chains, restaurants, a yogurt shop and some professional services.
As it has gotten started, it has been self perpetuating.
“The city (of Easley) has been very supportive and helpful,” Hopkins said. “They have been helpful with infrastructure needs and very supportive, but they have had to use very little active promotion. It is the type situation that they (developers) have come looking for us,” Hopkins said of developers.
That is what she sees as most hopeful.
The development will continue during the coming year, she believes, having heard of interest of some smaller commercial developments.
Activity will persist also around the new Wal-Mart and health care facility five miles away from Towne Center in Powdersville.
Meanwhile in downtown Easley, organizers like the city and Easley Downtown Business Association are promoting the uniqueness of that area.
City officials have found several million dollars for renovation of Old Market Square into a destination for events. It includes an amphitheater and accommodations for city sponsored events a Halloween Day fall festival recently.
The events funded by the city and organized by Dunburks Premiere Events draw thousands to the city center.
The City of Pickens is actively pursuing commercial development with the multifaceted Main Street program. In its second year of operation the Pickens Revitalization Association is helping direct efforts to draw people to the Pickens core business area. It is using economic incentives for building rehab, promotion of events to the area, mentoring of business entrepreneurs and marketing.