Economic Panel Expects a Good, Not Great Year for Effingham County

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Published on January 4 2013 9:32 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Effingham County residents should expect a good, not great economic year in 2013.

That's the prediction of a three-man panel at the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce's First Friday Luncheon. 

It's the fifth consecutive year for the panel...made up of City Economic Development Director Todd Hull, Washington Savings Bank President Claude Hudson and realtor Jerry Jansen of Century 21 Realty Concepts...to convene to share their hopes for the county's economy during the coming year.

Hull reported that the county's unemployment rate is consistently well below the state jobless rate and below the national rate.  He also shared that Effingham stands in the upper half when looking at any economic marker, that the total city tax burden is among the lowest in the state for comparably sized communities, and that utility rates are in the middle of the pack statewide.

Hull also ran down a list of businesses that have either located in the Effingham community or expanded here in the past year, creating close to 200 jobs.

Hudson said the economy should continue to grow this year, but said it will be quite some time before it returns to previous highs.  He does feel that averting the "fiscal cliff" should be encouraging to the economy by boosting consumer confidence.

Jansen noted sales of properties continues to be positive in the county, although he noted sales of homes valued at more than $200,000 take longer to happen than lower-priced homes.

(FIRST FRIDAY EMCEE GREG SAPP BANTERS WITH PANELISTS JERRY JANSEN, CLAUDE HUDSON AND TODD HULL...photo courtesy of Brian Milleville)