There are real signs that things are starting to really look up for communities throughout the Tri-State Area.
Take a look at Jefferson County, for instance. Personal spending and retail sales are up, and unemployment is down. New businesses are opening and existing businesses are growing. If you look across the Ohio River into Hancock and Brooke counties, you'll see plenty to be optimistic about - from the former TS&T Pottery facility in Chester to the former Wheeling Corrugating plant in Beech Bottom, there's prime real estate ready for development.
Those are positive stories, and we're happy to share them with our readers during February, which we've designated as Pride and Progress Month.
They'll be a part of our annual Progress Edition, the first installment of which appears in today's newspaper. This year's theme is Raising the Bar - Expanding Opportunities, and you'll find stories that look at our area's economic outlook and profiles of companies that are growing. The second installment will appear Wednesday and will focus on community, retail and financial services. Feb. 13's edition will look at recreation, leisure, sports and entertainment opportunities, which the Feb. 20 installment will center on health, education and careers. The final piece of our five-part edition will be inserted on Feb. 27 and will shine a spotlight on area business, industry and transportation.
Each year, our Progress Edition offers proof that our area is filled with people who are committed to making their businesses successful and ensuring that the Tri-State Area remains a great place to live.
We're glad to be able to share their stories with you.