Vitamins are essential for human life.
In utero, they are what facilitate the reactions that produce skin, bone and muscle. Without the correct balance of the 13 vitamins humans require, we become susceptible to disease. Consuming too much of a given vitamin can cause sickness.
Economic development is similar. Without it, small towns like Ashland wither and decay. Too much can also have an adverse impact.
Last week, Ashland got just the right dose.
Vitamin Shoppe cut the ribbon to its new state-of-the-art Ashland distribution center, which will serve as the main hub servicing 56 store locations in four different states.
The center currently employs 50 workers, a number that could increase three-fold as the company continues to expand.
In a Sept. 2012 story that graced this newspaper’s front page, the total project was expected to result in $39.4 million of investment, which accounts for jobs, bricks and mortar and other indirect investments.
This is great news for Ashland and Hanover County.
In previous weeks we’ve focused heavily on local economic development efforts here at the county and town level. Each locality takes a different approach to facilitate new business.
Something must be working.
Economists and politicians will argue for days on end on which is better: the hands-off free market approach – creating a womb, if you will, for businesses and then getting out of the way – or the carrot-and-stick method, which employs incentives like grants for utilities, for example.
When combined, Hanover and Ashland do both. Maybe that’s the correct balance of vitamins we need.