Over the last year, Fayetteville's strengths and weaknesses were studied. On Tuesday, a unified vision was announced to help ensure a brighter economic outlook for a region that is currently dependent on its retail base.
Members of the grassroots effort called
Greater Fayetteville Futures
announced three goals to help the city's economy:
- Develop a unified vision for economic development.
- Improve the city's image.
- Create business opportunities by taking advantage of the city's military presence.
"Failing to address these issues will likely hamper any strategy, just as failing to address them in the past has contributed to the weak economic base you have today," said Leslie Stewart of the UNC Office of Economic Development.
In terms of the military goal, it is not just about retaining exiting soldiers.
Officials with UNC's Office of Economic Development said that following the events of Sept. 11, Fayetteville is getting a lot of attention because it is home to Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base.
Those officials said that now is the time to recruit companies that supply the military and increase the number of local companies competing for military contracts.
"While we know North Carolina is high on the rank of government expenditures. We rank 43rd in contracting done with local businesses," said Sen. Tony Rand, D-Cumberland County.
Greater Fayetteville Futures is recruiting volunteers to be on specific task forces. Those groups will work to develop a 100-day plan.
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