It’s nice sometimes to be reminded that the proverbial glass not only isn’t half empty, it’s more than half full and rising.
That’s the message Frank Norton delivered to Forsyth County last week.
A real estate and insurance executive, Norton has for 25 years presented an annual review of economic and financial conditions in the north Georgia area entitled Native Intelligence. In a presentation of his latest report on Tuesday, Norton reminded us all that Forsyth County continues to have a dynamic and growing economic engine and is poised to be a leader for all of Georgia for years to come.
His words serve as an optimistic reminder that despite the economic doldrums of recent years we continue to be in much better shape than most other communities.
"Last year I told you [Forsyth County] was different, this year I’m telling you it’s a leader," Norton said to an audience of about 200 people.
He went on to note that while home construction in most of metro Atlanta is at a standstill, building continues in Forsyth County. He said foreclosures in the county were lower than elsewhere, and that job growth for Forsyth and Hall counties outpaces the rest of northeast Georgia.
None of the metro Atlanta counties are enjoying the boom times of a few years ago, but it’s hard to argue that Forsyth hasn’t weathered the storm better than most, and there are plenty of indicators that suggest things are getting better.
Norton said the housing market recovery will follow new jobs, which again is promising for Forsyth.
The economic prognosticator also noted another trend that bodes well not just for Forsyth County but for the state and nation – a grassroot movement toward buying local and buying American.
"If every American family spent just $3.92 more a year on American-made goods, it could create 10,000 jobs," Norton said. In his annual report, he notes that there seems to be a growing sentiment toward buying goods produced in America, and encourages consumers to pay more attention to the origin of the goods they consume.
He also notes that not only is it important to buy American, but at the county level to spend dollars in local stores, where local taxes are collected that have a direct impact on local quality of life.
If Forsyth residents will heed that advice, the proverbial glass will fill up a lot quicker.