Local News

Job Cuts A Big Concern For Fayetteville In 2006

Posted December 27, 2005

— Economic developers in Cumberland County say preventing businesses from moving elsewhere remains a concern for them in 2006, even though the area gained more jobs than it lost.

Thirty businesses trimmed jobs in 2005 and roughly 1,100 people were laid off -- almost twice as many as in 2004.

First, Black & Decker announced plans to close. Then, Winn-Dixie closed five of its grocery stores. One of Fayetteville's biggest restaurants, B.D.'s Mongolian Grill, also closed and M.J. Soffe cut back.

And more job cuts are on tap for 2006. Black & Decker plans to lay off hundreds more workers before it finally closes.

"We have to be even more aggressive," said Phyllis Owens, an economic developer with the Cumberland County Business Council who plans to target distribution and military businesses in 2006. "That's why we have such a huge marketing campaign that's out there."

The county already landed one new employer for 2006 -- a biotechnology firm called Nitta Gelatin, which is set to open around summer.

And with Fort Bragg growing, economic developers hope to lure more defense contractors.

"At least three times a year, we've got a postcard sitting on a consultant's desk saying, 'Fayetteville, Fayetteville, North Carolina, is a great place to do business,'" Owens said.

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