Five Ways Local Residents Can Help Grow Oconee’s Economy
By Janet Hartman
Residents are the lifeblood of communities. They determine what businesses succeed, what activities and places become popular, and build the overall culture of a community. Based on these things, larger companies decide whether or not to invest in an area and community leaders determine what development projects need to be prioritized (housing, commercial, retail, parks, transportation, etc.).
In Oconee County, there are many people who live here and love the area, but aren’t sure how to contribute to its economic growth. What these residents don’t realize is that they are the economy. They are completely in control of Oconee’s future growth and success! Despite their tremendous economic power, many locals are unsure how to make an impact with their day-to-day interactions.
If you are unsure how to invest your time, energy and resources into supporting the county and its future, here are a few ideas:
- Shop local first. Take a break from online retailers and choose the local route for clothing, gifts and other purchases. There are many privately owned shops in the area sourcing handmade or American made goods that are far more unique and meaningful than anything one would find online. Plus, all money spent at local businesses goes directly back into the community; recirculating among other locally owned businesses.
- Eat local. From choosing to go direct to a farmer to finding the great places to eat within Oconee County, make a decision to visit the local establishments. You can easily find wholesome, locally sourced, and delicious food for around the same prices as a franchised restaurant. Making a change to eat local not only supports the restaurant owner but the farmers and distributors providing the ingredients.
- Help keep Oconee beautiful. Make a choice to help pick up trash around the community, plant a tree next to your office, suggest an art installation in the county, etc. These things add character while ensuring our community looks appealing to the eye. Not sure where to start? Join us for the second annual “Great Oconee Clean Up” on April 21st along Hwy 11.
- Be engaged on the issues. Oconee is changing. Stay on top of the issues affecting our community by joining a local board or commission. There are also a number of local nonprofit organizations looking for volunteers and board members who can provide insight and skills to better the community.
- Be an Oconee Ally. We truly are an up-and-coming sweet spot for business expansions, relocations and startups. Being an Oconee Ally puts you in a perfect position to share the positive news of Oconee County’s economic momentum. To find out more visit www.oconeeally.com.
Oconee County’s economy is strong. We offer a great place to live, work, play and invest. Our local residents can help us continue to be successful by focusing their time, energy, and dollars toward the local businesses, amenities and attractions that make Oconee the wonderful place it is.
Janet Hartman is the Manager of Destination Oconee. Destination Oconee is an initiative under the Oconee Economic Alliance which is a public-private nonprofit effort to accelerate job creation and capital investment, increase per cpita income, diversify the local tax base and generate awareness of Oconee County as a business location. To learn more visit www.InvestOconeeSC.com.