Abbeville, AL (WSFA) – Abbeville celebrated the grand opening of the Human Resources Development Center Friday, one of three businesses to open in less than two weeks.
The center, whose mission is to prevent families from slipping into poverty, offers programs that help pay for rent, utilities, and food to those in need.
Toni Brown, the Henry County Development Coordinator for the center, is a testament to their work.
She said, "I used to work at West Point Home, and when I lost my job, I came here looking for help. And I left with a job, so it was a blessing to me."
Unlike Toni, the city still struggles to recover after the West Point Plant closing, but city leaders say the new businesses in town are a sign the future is bright.
Lucky Armstrong, the Mayor Pro Temp said, "Our growth has not stopped, and our people are working—trying to bring in other ways so that we can continue to have jobs."
With all the traffic moving through the city thanks to Highway 431, city leaders hope other businesses see the potential and follow suit."
Abbeville Chamber of Commerce President Ronnie Marshall said, "We have people from the Atlanta area and other parts of the state that are always headed to the beach through here at all times of the year. Abbeville is a wonderful place to put a business."
New industry is desperately needed to provide a stronger tax base, which should - in turn - improve the city's infrastructure.
Marshall said, "It would help with our police protection, our fire protection, every resources we need in this community to enhance our quality of life."
"We've really been trying to improve our small town look," said Armstrong, "And get everybody interested in sprucing up. We do not want to lose Abbeville, we don't want to just dry up."
City leaders hope there are more ribbon cutting ceremonies to come—giving their small town a big vision.
Abbeville will celebrate yet another grand opening Monday, January 25th for the Henry County Health and Rehabilitation Center.