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For several months, many of us in the outlying areas of the Piedmont Triad have been silent on the proposed FedEx hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport. We understand that many of the issues may, or may not, have direct impact on the environment of Guilford County. To intelligently discuss this issue, we must wait for the Environmental Impact Study to be drafted.

We should choose to become vocal about the economic impact to the Piedmont Triad community. Recently, opponents of the hub claimed that ``only a small group of people driven by greed and selfishness stand to gain from the FedEx fiasco, while the people suffer.'Surry County will probably not see the direct benefit of 750 employees at the hub. Surry County will see the benefit from the secondary and supportive businesses that will emerge. Why is this important? During the last 18 months, over 1,400 people have been laid off in Surry County.

Fortunately, the economy has allowed many of them to be absorbed into the textile industry. This will be short-lived as employment in textiles and tobacco, the two industries that have been the backbone of many rural counties, will continue to deteriorate. When FedEx built its Indianapolis hub, 60 companies either moved or expanded into the area as a direct result, creating 7,000 jobs. The economic impact was and is tremendous. We in Surry County do not just want the FedEx hub, we need it.

David Bradley\ Mount Airy

The writer is executive director of the Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce.\

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