Economic growth in rural Shelby County

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SHELBY, Ala (WIAT) – Shelby County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state.

However, when you drive through rural parts of Shelby County like Wilton, Vandiver, and Harpersville you see large pastures and farms. Chad Scoggins is the Chief Development Officer for the Shelby County Department of Development Services. Scoggins says the land in rural Shelby County is attractive to business and home developers.

“When you see those retail businesses come in, whether that be a dollar general or a grocery store, you start to see that the housing development will start as well,” said Scoggins. “People need relatively quick access to those resources.”

Scoggins says areas like Dunnavant Valley Road are a great example of businesses coming to an area to provide easy access to good and services for residents. Scroggins says rural Shelby County has much to offer including land, low crime, and growing school system. Scroggins says the county is starting to see some residents use their land to boost economic growth in the rural areas.

“We’re starting to see agribusinesses in the case of wineries and other businesses like that. We’re starting to see some of those pop-up,” said Scroggins. “There are certainly some that have been established in the Harpersville area, but also Columbiana and Calera have seen these agribusinesses or these wineries pop up and actually thrive.”

Charles Brammer and his family own and operate Morgan Creek Winery in Harpersville.

“This land was actually planted in cotton for over 100 years. It first started out as a you pick kind of hobby farm. We had an acre of this and an acre of blueberries, an acre of apples. And we started with a you pick and realized there was an opportunity in making value out of products. And that’s how we got into the wine business,” said Brammer.

Today, Brammer’s family also use the land as an event space to book weddings and other celebrations. Brammer says there are a lot of business opportunities in rural Shelby County, you just have to get creative.

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