2011 was another record-setting year for Bryan County's retail sector, according to the Development Authority of Bryan County.
The county set an all-time high in sales tax collections for the second year in a row with more than $5.2 million collected in 2011.
That was an increase of 3.43 percent over 2010's collections and a 7 percent increase against 2008's collections as the national economy started its downturn.
"To set a retail sales tax collection record two years in a row is a great statement about the business climate in Bryan County," said F. J. Fenn, executive director for the Development Authority. "We hope this will encourage more retail outlets to take advantage of the markets that our community offers to create jobs and opportunities for our citizens."
Community leaders credited the increase in retail sales to a variety of factors, including increased "shop at home" programs by both county chambers of commerce and more opportunities for travelers along the communities' three Interstate interchanges. New retail outlets including Dollar General in Black Creek, plus the addition of Dollar Tree and Dairy Queen in Richmond Hill, have given citizens in those neighborhood markets opportunities they would usually have to travel out of their markets for.
"Our goal at the Development Authority is to continue to market Bryan County as a place for Industrial and Commercial Investment. We will work to continue to decrease the amount of retail dollars that leave Bryan County every day, by growing retail opportunity for our citizens," Fenn said.