Local News

Local Chambers Come Together To Conduct Business Census

Posted July 23, 2003

— Like most parts of the country, the Triangle has been hard hit by the sluggish economy. But a new effort is under way to find ways to attract more businesses to the area and to help companies here prosper.

The chambers of commerce in the Triangle will be giving a census to local businesses to find out what their needs are. The chambers say that is what they have to do in a sluggish economy like we're in now.

Stores like a Southern Season in Chapel Hill are a staple in the Triangle, and that store has even gone through an expansion. Now, the four area Chambers of Commerce have launched an effort to find out what will keep businesses like that one happy so they can continue to grow and stay in the Triangle.

The chambers in Raleigh, Durham, Cary and Carrboro-Chapel Hill announced Wednesday that they will survey 4,000 businesses in the Triangle. They will ask questions about the businesses' needs and any obstacles to growth.

This is the first time for such an effort, and the chambers have high hopes.

"Very often, they may not be aware of resources that exist in the marketplace, and we do because of the contacts that we have in our economic development activities," said Harvey Schmitt of the Greater Raleigh Chamber Of Commerce. "And if we find out that they are looking for something, we can help direct them.

"Sometimes, they have issues with local government, and we can act as an ombudsman and have a conversation with local government."

The census starts July 28. Any firm with more than 25 employees will be contacted by phone, fax or e-mail.


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