Local News

Edwards On Ticket Results In Economic Boon For Hometown

Posted July 16, 2004 5:41 a.m. EDT

— Sen. John Edwards' nomination did not just put his hometown of Robbins on the map. Leaders say it is helping boost business in a town that struggled over the past decade.

Computer store owner Ellis Aldridge believes attention for Edwards equals attention for businesses like his.

"I think it really helps. It brings people in. We're getting business from other places," he said.

Mayor Mickey Brown said headlines for Edwards means bottom lines for Robbins. He said one developer was not ready to commit to a project in town, but that later changed following Edwards' announcement.

"He was concerned about our economy here and he hadn't made a decision to go forward with the project and Wednesday morning after the announcement, I received an e-mail from him," Brown said. "He basically said things are looking up. They're very excited and we decided to put our project on the fast track."

The developer plans to build at Robbins Crossroads. Restaurants like Subway and Domino's Pizza are expected to follow.

For many residents, it is quite a change. They watched two major employers close within the past 12 years -- a chicken plant and a mill where Edwards' father worked.

"This town needs something. I don't know what, but it does need something," resident Tony Callicutt said.

Brown believes there is even hope for the two plants that closed. He said potential buyers have expressed interest within the past seven days.