Step up and help area step out

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, February 16, 2010

After years of giving only lip service to the notion that our community is made better and stronger by working together rather than apart, our old, divisive ways appear to be changing.

Our community is quickly realizing that the imaginary boundaries created by cities and states only divide our community as far as we allow.

Most business owners realize how interconnected our area truly is.

Vidalia, Natchez and Ferriday cannot stand alone. They must stand together, unified in purpose and vision.

Looking around the southeast, we can find plenty of examples of diverse communities that are not living up to their full potential. Countless communities are floundering and struggling to keep their heads above water.

But a rare handful of communities seem to be holding their own, if not excelling, despite recent economic headwinds.

With few exceptions, the common denominator in these successful communities is that they work together with others in their region.

The new regionalism push, which was started by the area’s chambers of commerce, will begin becoming a little more public this week as the first of three public forums are launched.

The first will be at noon today at the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center.

Subsequent meetings will be at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23 at the Arcade Theater in Ferriday and at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, March 11 at the Natchez Community Center.

Such efforts, however, are only as good as those who participate.

Your opinion really does matter and is appreciated, so please make it a point of attending one of the meetings if you have an interest in seeing our community reach the next level.