Adairsville suffered severe damage from the Jan. 30 tornado that passed through northwest Georgia. Among the affected was Daiki’s Adairsville manufacturing facility, which destroyed the plant and displaced employees. Just days later, community leaders put together a relief fund to supplement unemployment benefits.
“We saw a need there,” said NorthSide Bank Executive Vice President Barry Adcock. “NorthSide Bank partnered with my church, Cedar Creek Baptist Church. We had some of our members there at Cedar Creek impacted by the tornado that were employees at Daiki. So we were able to partner together, the church and the bank, to open and start this Tornado Relief Fund. I am thrilled and again I want to say thank you because you guys helped bring in over $45,000, which we were able to distribute to impacted employees. They were drawing unemployment, but it fell way below most of their needs.
“I just want to say, ‘Thank You,’ to all that contributed to that. There was the Kiss the Pig contest and many other things that were done. Then people would just walk in the door and hand us checks or money for that cause.”
Adcock went on to thank those in attendance for continued support and patronage of NorthSide Bank, whose main office also was damaged in the tornado. Now located in a temporary location, he expressed gratitude for customers bearing with inconveniences as the bank is repaired. Swanson declared the “community has never been stronger” and that he expects the main office to reopen in June.
Taking an informal poll of those in the room Thursday, Swanson compared those to a generally positive outlook seen in recent polls.
“A recent survey that just came out. Six hundred businesses are surveyed each quarter by Wells Fargo and Gallup Poll,” Swanson said. “In this poll, 48 percent that responded felt that business was good or very good in the last 12 months. I’d say that’s a good thing. In fact, when you look at poll results, they are some of the highest poll results we’ve had since 2007.
“And interestingly enough, 53 percent of the businesses surveyed in this poll expected business to be either good or very good in the next 12 months. So it’s pretty similar results as our informal poll this morning and that’s good news. I think the good news is the economy is coming back to life.”
Swanson continued with a demonstration in effective communication, an attribute business leaders can utilize to take advantage of opportunities he feels are on the horizon of a rebounding economy.
“Housing and real estate recovery are well underway. Working at a bank, I get lots of data coming at me,” Swanson said. “What I am hearing is that the housing market is about to boom. ... Housing inventory in some markets is nonexistent.
“When you look at the Georgia economy, typically Georgia’s GDP has been supported 20 to 25 percent by the construction industry, but in the recession, that dropped to as low as 5 percent. So even if you’re not building homes or supplying homes, the construction industry and all the economic activity trickles down to everything we touch. So as that comes back to life, our economy is going to create lots and lots of opportunity.”
Eggs & Issues meets the first Thursday of every month at the Adairsville Inn. For more information, call 770-382-1466.