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Bridgeport chosen for program to increase city's economic development

Bridgeport was one of the three cities, and the first ever in Alabama, chosen for this year's Thrive program.

Posted: Feb 15, 2019 6:00 PM
Updated: Feb 15, 2019 6:50 PM

A new Google data center isn't the only thing that will bring growth to Bridgeport in Jackson County. 

Bridgeport was one of the three cities, and the first ever in Alabama, chosen for this year's Thrive program. Thrive has helped communities across the Tennessee Valley from Chattanooga to North Alabama, for the last three years.

J.P. Parsons with the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce introduced the program to Bridgeport's city council and says other communities who have gone through the program have benefited greatly.

"They have blossomed. They have come forward. It has helped each one of those communities that may have been more underdeveloped, but have the potential to be developed, but just hadn't reached that next step," J.P. Parsons said. "This is going to give them the potential and the notice and the promotion they deserve."

Those who live in the area say they're excited to see change.

"It's great! We are going to have all kinds of people in here, new roads, new restaurants, new everything here," Tyler York said.

The 10-month program will require participation from the community as they learn how to use their city's assets to bring businesses to the area. At the end of the program, city officials can apply for a grant to help make their plan a reality.

Residents of the area are excited to bring their ideas to the table.

"Very engaged and all that, because we are all trying to make this town a better place," York said.

Parsons says this program will help do that.

"I see opportunity just springing up for them. They'll be introduced to other economic engines that they've never been introduced to before," Parsons said.

Parsons hopes other cities and towns in Jackson and DeKalb counties will look at Bridgeport as an example, so they can also apply for the program in the future.

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