Last updated: July 21. 2014 10:45AM - 139 Views
Ted Smith Contributing Columnist

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The activity around Community Hall has certainly created discussions regarding local residents’ feelings about just what is historic and how each of us view the center of our beloved city of Newberry. The year of 2014 is proving to be the “year of renovation.”

Seemingly everywhere one chooses to look, business owners are updating the faces of their buildings. Most of these upgrades are occurring because our city leaders applied for a grant thus making the funding available for these renovations. With these improvements, downtown Newberry is, once again, starting to look very attractive, thus reinforcing the statement, “We are open for business.” Unfortunately, everybody is not going to agree with everything being done, so let me ask you to do this one thing before you cast another voice of doubt. Use your imagination.

Imagine you are coming down Newberry’s Main Street one year ago. Honestly look at the empty storefronts, neglected buildings, worn and missing signage, poorly maintained grassy areas, etc. then tell me if you would be impressed enough to stop, shop, dine, and stay long enough to get to know our greatest treasure, namely the friendly people of Newberry? I believe you would agree that many of our businesses rely on the visitors and the tourism trade for their success.

Our city leaders also recognized the problem areas and are working diligently to correct and offset the negatives our visitors and residents were witnessing. From the streetscaping on College Street and other areas throughout our city, to the new Way Finding System soon to be installed, coupled with the new appearances for most of our downtown businesses, to the upgrades surrounding Community Hall, each will ensure a pleasant and beautiful setting that our visitors and residents will enjoy, thus helping to ensure many return visits to our beautiful, historic city we call Newberry. If each of us will only display a small amount of patience and wait just a little while longer, I believe you will be impressed.

Our city employees are certainly doing an admirable job on these renovations. From those who prepared the grant paperwork, to those who are actually making the changes throughout our city, “Great job, y’all!”

Here at your Chamber/Visitors Center, our guests are very envious of our progress and constantly comment on our beautiful city and what we offer. You can help by continuing to be the hospitable folks that our visitors see daily. You can also help by getting involved in your Newberry County Chamber of Commerce. Please stop and visit us here at Community Hall and let either Liz, Michelle, or me tell you of the many benefits awaiting you through Chamber membership.

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