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Open for business?

As 2017 draws to a close, town and county governments are set to take stock of the year and review goals and priorities to put into action in 2018.

One issue that has prompted conversation among Cumberland County’s board of supervisors, planning commission and members of the public is the subject of business growth and development.

The discussion came to a head following a request for a special use permit from Dollar General to rezone an eight-acre parcel of property on Holman Mill Road in order to open a store. The request was denied by the board on a 3-2 vote.

Though acknowledging that the issue is nuanced and would not necessarily fit into a “yes” or “no” response, we at The Herald express support for the perspective given by District Two Supervisor Lloyd Banks about the importance of welcoming new businesses into the county.

Issues voiced by members of the board and members of the public — including having to drive out of the county for groceries and other supplies, lack of jobs within the county and high tax rates — could potentially be alleviated by accepting businesses into the county in 2018.

Though we agree with District Five Supervisor Parker Wheeler in acknowledging the importance of the county’s comprehensive plan in fulfilling the long-term goals of the county, it may be necessary, in the future, to seek alternatives when the subject concerns businesses, particularly those that could benefit the county in multiple ways.

No business should come at the expense of the county’s residents, but most businesses will also work with county governments to ensure operations do not have negative implications for people who live near them.

In 2018, we encourage our town and county governments to continue taking actions to improve the Heart of Virginia. We encourage Cumberland County, as well, to be open for business.