Chamber to host Economic Summit


Staff Writer

Monday, December 10, 2018

Local business leaders and officials will have an opportunity to hear what sort of activity is happening or coming down the pipeline in the Twin Counties.

The Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce will hold the 2018 Economic Summit at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Rose Hill Conference Center in Nashville. The Chamber has traditionally held the summit in the spring.

“We’re real excited about this year’s event,” said David Farris, president and CEO of the Rocky Mount Area Chamber. “We elected to go deeper into this year. We plan to do sort of a review of 2018 and polish the crystal ball and see what to expect nationally, in the state and more important in our region.”

Farris said at the start of the summit, Rocky Mount City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney will give a brief overview of some of the local economic updates. The overview will include discussions about the growth within the city, what the city will be doing to streamline the permitting process and the change in the utility location for better customer service.

Guest speakers State Treasurer Dale Folwell and Mike Walden, an economist and professor at N.C. State University, will discuss 2019 in terms of the economy and touching on the global, national and state level as well as information on the local economy. The discussion will be moderated by David Joyner, president of Joyner Media Strategies.

“Treasurer Folwell manages one of the largest retirement funds in the United States, while Dr. Walden has made thousands of economic speeches,” Farris said. “He is keenly familiar with the Twin Counties area and the challenges we’ve faced. We’re fortunate to have both of them come to our area.”

Farris said some of the highlights of activity taking place in the Twin Counties include the opening of the Rocky Mount Event Center, the more than $300 million of road work going on or coming down the pipeline as well as places like Station Square and the Rocky Mount Mills.

“Things are beginning to come together nicely as far as economically in our region, which is better than perhaps the last 25 years and certainly since Hurricane Floyd,” he said.”I really like where we’re positioned as a region.”

Farris said there are several economic development happenings to be optimistic about in the Twin Counties, namely the more than 900 jobs coming from Triangle Tire and Corning as well as jobs from the CSX intermodal terminal. He also added several existing companies are looking into expanding opportunities.

“We have 3,000 job openings over the next 12 months that we know about,” Farris said. “With those people coming to the employment arena and their disposable income improving, that reflects well on small businesses that should continue to grow in our area. Also, I haven’t talked to a single medium-size to large-size manufacturer or logistic operations that isn’t looking for people. If you’re looking for a job, this is a good place to be.”

Breakfast for the summit will be provided by the Rose Hill Conference Center. The Chamber is close to selling out the event. Tickets for the event are $40 for members and $50 for prospective members. Tickets can be ordered through The Chamber website’s events calendar at RockyMountChamber.org or by calling The Chamber at 252-973-1211.