Supporting revitalization

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Officials in Drakes Branch recently finished submitting all of the requirements to qualify for a $3,000 pre-planning grant for its revitalization project, which would help support the town’s efforts to improve business opportunities in the area.

As the project moves closer to becoming a reality, we encourage the community to support the revitalization initiative.

A big focus today in the state has been placed on the revitalization of towns and growing the workforce — a crucial staple to the success of a small town. With programs such as GoVirginia being created and utilized to grow the workforce and businesses, now is the time for the community to show support for this project.

Drakes Branch Mayor Denise Pridgen said she was excited to see potential rejuvination in town.

“I’m looking forward to moving on and getting some kind of improvement in the town,” Pridgen told The Gazette recently. “You know, the town has really gone down, and by Dollar General coming, that was a big plus.”

While some may be wary of big companies coming to the area, such as Dollar General, the inclusion of these businesses brings in crucial revenue. In addition, it increases acknowledgment of the town, helping to bring in more small businesses, repeating the cycle.

Unless they are able to grow their workforces and tax bases — bringing in more businesses and labor — small towns such as Drakes Branch will continue to suffer economically and could ultimately risk bankruptcy in the future.

As a community, the citizens of Drakes must get behind this revitalization project, which will improve the lives of those who live, work and play here.