BUSINESS

Shuster and Ross speak to chamber

PAT FRIDGEN

Congressman Bill Shuster made a surprise visit to Greencastle Tuesday morning. His office notified the Chamber of Commerce Friday afternoon that he would be able to attend the monthly breakfast at Antrim House Restaurant.

Featured speaker Mike Ross, president of Franklin County Area Development Corporation, joked that during his recess Shuster was making the rounds of the Ninth District getting free breakfasts.

Shuster addressed major issues facing the nation. “The stimulus money saved some jobs, but it didn’t help the economy,” he said. “The government doesn’t create jobs, the private sector does.”

He promised to keep working to put America on firmer footing.

He also called terrorism the number one concern, with a focus necessary on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“If one country is not stablized, the other won’t be either,” he warned. Officials in Washington D.C. were certain Pakistan would use its nuclear weapons if not under U.S. scrutiny, and the aftermath would make 9-11 look “like a minor event.”

Ross said his news would be more cheerful. He shared  the economic development picture of Franklin County.

His priority was to facilitate the private sector in creating jobs. Most of FCACDC’s clients were existing businesses looking to expand. He likened their importance to the customers the chamber members wanted to retain, while drawing in new ones.

“We use ‘selective attraction,’” Ross said. “It used to to be if they liked us, we liked them.”

Now he preferred corporations that would give back to the community and provide living wages for employees.