The Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce held its annual dinner Thursday evening, recognizing local business ambassadors and small business owners for their work in the community. Amidst all the down news and discussions on the economy and business, this event was an opportunity to highlight some of the local bright spots that shine light through in an often dim and dreary outlook.

As most local business discussions have turned to the negative side of the economy’s present state in an effort to address the development roadblocks and face the setbacks, the business positives here in Baldwin County may have been overlooked by much of the community. Those recognized at this year’s annual dinner represent some of those positives, and though the coming months will be filled with their own set of challenges, these bright spots coupled with a number of other positives, represent a lot of promise for Baldwin County.

Through forums, workshops and informational sessions, the Chamber of Commerce has, over the past several months, created settings for dialogue that should be a part of the groundwork for the road to recovery. Small business owners have been a part of those discussions, and without them, local business ambassadors and stakeholders, little progress is truly possible. Those who are interested in Baldwin County’s progression should value these small businesses as well, and small businesses should value and support the chamber and its resources. In all the discussion on ways to bring new jobs to this community, Baldwin County mustn’t overlook existing business and their value. The support the chamber provides for these businesses and for the community encourages growth and expansion as well.

Congratulations to Doyle Beckham of Beckham’s Used Cars and to all of those recognized Thursday evening for their efforts to make Baldwin County better, stronger and more economically viable.

We mustn’t forget that while excellent to have, progress does not always mean huge gains in large packages and that continued progression is key and certainly possible by shopping local and supporting small businesses.

Through the continued cooperation among local small business owners, stakeholders and the Chamber of Commerce and input and active participation by local residents interested in Baldwin County’s future, great things are possible.

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