• 46°

Jemison seeing business growth

Even in the midst of a struggling economy, Jemison is welcoming in new businesses.

Mayor Eddie Reed said Jemison’s population growth and central location in the state are the reasons—and said the city would continue to pursue growth.

“With the down economy, any new signs of life are welcome,” Reed said.

Anytime Fitness opened Dec. 1, and a Family Dollar store will move into the space between BB&T Bank and Dr. Jay Patel’s office.

Both of those businesses are off Highway 31, but Reed said he has also seen interest in Jemison’s Interstate 65 exit.

The city’s Municipal Complex opened in April, and its auditorium has been a popular attraction. Reed said he’s talked with potential renters who said they would benefit from a hotel in the city.

“The No. 1 goal is going to have to be a shopping mall or strip mall to come in and bring the kind of restaurants we all want,” Reed said.

Reed said he expects the 2010 Census to reveal Jemison’s population has grown from 2,248 to more than 3,000 since the last census.

“Chilton County is the prime location, with growth coming from the north and from the south,” Reed said. “We’ve done economic studies that show North Chilton County is the fastest growing area (of the county).

“Where the population goes, the business is going to follow.”