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Waiting on the turn

While the economy seems nearly hopeless, there is some light at the of the proverbial tunnel.

U.S. Rep. Artur Davis will be in the state today to talk about a couple of issues, including an effort to ensure that the state’s interests are part of the stimulus legislation expected at the beginning of the year.

Davis believes extension of the Renewal Community and Empowerment Zone is a top priority.

Certainly, it could breathe life into the Black Belt, including Selma and Dallas County.

The Renewal Community and Empowerment Zone designations provide financial incentives, including wage credits and capital gains breaks for companies within economically distressed areas. The designations have demonstrated an impact on job creation and retention.

While Dallas County does not have the highest unemployment rate, it ranks consistently among the top 10 in Alabama. Davis says he plans to reintroduce the Empowerment Zone and Renewal Community Enhancement Act, a bill he first introduced in 2007, to refine and extend these economic development provisions.

With President-elect Obama’s emphasis on economic stimulus, it is likely the measure will have a solid opportunity to pass.

Through cooperative efforts and solid county and city leadership, we should weather this economic storm well.