Greenville is still on the grow

Published 5:11 pm Tuesday, February 24, 2015

There have been many banquets I’ve sat through in my time as a journalist.

Last week, the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual member banquet at LBWCC’s Wendell Mitchell Center, and it was quite an affair.

The keynote speaker, Patricia “Sister Schubert” Barnes told her “Cinderella” story on how she made it big in the food business with her famous yeast rolls.

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Before Schubert got up to the podium and gave her speech, Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon exercised his speaking expertise and delivered a passionate State of the City address.

Not being specific, and he didn’t need to be, McLendon talked about several things that make Greenville great.

One of those is its ability to draw industry.

Recently, REF Alabama, Inc., announced that it would be expanding at its site on the bypass.

Wintzell’s Oyster House finally opened its doors on Interstate Plaza.

McLendon didn’t say specifically what businesses are interested in coming to the Camellia City. He didn’t give the well-attentive crowd any guarantees or make any promises.

“I’m not going to make any promises or predictions about any businesses coming to Greenville,” McLendon said.

“I’m not going to tease you with hints about industrial or business prospects we’ve been in contact with.  Tonight, I’m going to ask you to do me a favor.  I’m going to ask you to take the time to reflect with me on where we’ve been as a community and the journey it took to get where we are today.”

Most of the speech chronicled what’s ahead for our fair city, to which McLendon said that it now has a good foundation from which to build upon.

“Are we where we want to be?  No.  We have a long way to go, and I’m far from satisfied,” McLendon said.

“But we’re closing the gap.  Two decades ago, we were begging people to invest in this community, praying that they would see what we saw in Greenville.  I’m happy to say that’s not the case today.”