Looking ahead to Chatham, business and the economy in 2020

BY ZACHARY HORNER, News + Record Staff
Posted 1/3/20

Each new year brings about a list of New Year’s resolutions, hopes and dreams. The year 2020 will be no different.

I couldn’t find any scientific studies on New Year’s resolutions, but one …

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Looking ahead to Chatham, business and the economy in 2020

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Each new year brings about a list of New Year’s resolutions, hopes and dreams. The year 2020 will be no different.

I couldn’t find any scientific studies on New Year’s resolutions, but one article from Forbes that I came across said that 25 percent of people stay committed to their resolutions after January, and only 8 percent are committed the whole 365 days (or, in the case of leap year 2020, 366 days).

I asked four people within the Chatham County business industry two questions — 1) What is your and/or your business sector’s New Year’s resolution for 2020? and 2) What would you like to be able to say about 2020 on New Year’s Day 2021? Here were their answers:

Jackie Adams — owner, Oasis Open Air Market, Siler City; president, Siler City Merchants’ Association

1) I believe the businesses in Siler City have committed in their resolve to keep going. We need the people of Siler City to commit to shop local and bring their family and friends.

2) 2020 is a new year. We now have new businesses looking to come into Siler City due to the (alcohol) referendum and the ability for expansion of succeed event business. We can hope moving forward the support of local government and citizens can also support progress and, as a result, support success.

Alyssa Byrd — President, Chatham Economic Development Corporation

1) I do have some additional outreach and proactive education programs we want to launch in 2020. One is a regular meeting of rotating topics with different speakers coming in, focusing on tourism one meeting, one meeting focusing on the community colleges. So having the experts in those fields come in and speak to what they’re doing and how it fits into the region, the state. Just having it will be a good opportunity for people to learn about all the different puzzle pieces in Chatham County and all the good work that’s done.

Joint elected official meetings kind of fell by the wayside. We used to do them quarterly, at least three times a year, but with a limited staff, those things just kind of slipped off our plate. So we need to get back on track with doing more regular joint elected board meetings. It’s a good relationship-building and information-sharing opportunity.

2) End of 2020, I would have loved to have facilitated an affordable housing development, which is not a traditional economic development activity. But because we work and are connected with so many different developers and people in the development community, we are making those connections and we are able to tell people about the story in Chatham County. We’re bringing that interest here and we’re telling them, “Here’s how this town has changed over 30 years and how it’s grown and what it needs.” We’re able to tell the story that data doesn’t, and it’s very compelling. I think we have some very interested parties in establishing some affordable housing and just being part of that too. Tell the story and then identify good locations that would be compatible.

Cindy Poindexter — President, Chatham Chamber of Commerce

1) To move the Chamber to another level and to help member businesses to succeed in achieving their goals by helping to guide them in the right direction and connecting them to the right opportunities and people.

2) The Chatham Chamber had an impact on the success of businesses and the economy of Chatham County.

Neha Shah — Director, Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau

1) Our New Year’s resolution for Chatham County and the Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau is to surpass last year’s resolution by increasing economic impact in tourism and sports and continuing to provide the best visitor services possible through all our channels. We were happy on all fronts with visitor economic impact figures (an increase), our sporting events and our reach to visitors (in these increasingly digital times, their top communication tools are web/social media).

2) In December 2020, we hope to say that a new hotel in Chatham County is just around the corner.


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