|Friday, October 29, 2010|
|MyChamberApp, our new mobile member directory|
The Charlotte Chamber constantly strives to bring more value and benefit to its members in many different ways. One of our newest member benefits is marketing your company through MyChamberApp – a cross-platform business locator and mobile directory for smart phones – through our partnership with Target Marketing.
Smart phones are a fast-growing technology market segment.
- According to PCWorld, 2009 sales of regular mobile phones grew by 6.1 percent while SmartPhone Sales jumped 27 percent to surpass total unit sales of 400 million.
- Additionally, Smith-Barney Financial Analysts forecast SmartPhone sales to eclipse the sales of personal computers and laptop computers combined in 2012.
- The Wall Street Journal reported on June 11, 2010, that mobile e-commerce revenue will create $2.2 billion in revenue this year alone. That is a 100 percent increase from 2009 and an amazing 500 percent increase from 2008.
MyChamberApp will help our members (both big and small, from retail to service and all businesses in between) attract this growing revenue stream in both personal and e-commerce sales. Right now, at no cost to your business, you are listed categorically and by geographical distance for all users of this application.
While all members are currently listed at no cost, you have an opportunity to increase your businesses exposure through Featured or Premium Sponsorships offering top-of-category positioning, photo and video promotion, and complimentary Hot Deals or Event Promotion.
A representative from Target Marketing will soon contact you to verify your information and review the sponsorship options with you, but please don’t hesitate to contact Target Marketing directly at 800.933.3909.
I encourage you and your network of friends, family and business associates to download the free application at the respective iTunes for iPhone, Marketplace for Androids or App World on your Blackberry. This tool will help you find and give your business to fellow chamber members when you’re mobile. Supporting fellow chamber members is good for business and good for Charlotte!
If you would like to hear more about Featured and Premium listings, send your name, your company name and your phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that some Blackberry configurations block streaming data, which interferes with the app. Please contact My Chamber App support at email@example.com for reconfiguration instructions if you experience this problem.
|Thursday, October 28, 2010|
|Vote Yes for City Bonds|
In previous blogs we’ve discussed many of the city’s great opportunities covering social, professional and recreational outlets. We should take a moment and recognize the many everyday amenities that help define Charlotte’s character and unique culture. Whether it’s riding the light rail Uptown to work or a game, biking on one of the city’s greenways, or even walking though a neighborhood gallery crawl, all of these things that we love about our city life came to fruition through careful timing and planning. It is because of these that Charlotte can be valued as one of the best cities to live in and why it attracts top talent young professionals throughout the nation not only to visit but also to live and build homes and families here. We are fortunate to see so many opportunities that were created through careful planning and strong partnership of both public and private funding.
For this upcoming Election Day, Tuesday November 2, the City of Charlotte has introduced three bond packages on the ballot. These include:
- $156.6 million for road upgrades, bike path expansions, intersections and related projects
- $32 million for sidewalks and streetscape improvements in Charlotte’s aging and overdue neighborhoods
- $15 million to provide affordable and well maintained housing for low income families
By voting yes for these bonds, this will allow for continued improvements to Charlotte while benefitting the city and citizens in the following ways:
- No tax increase will be required by the taxpayer. The city already has a budget to anticipate the repayment for these bonds.
- In the current economy, the cost of issuing bonds is extremely low and attractive at this time, allowing the city to stretch dollars farther than normal.
- The cost of construction is also attractively low right now, also allowing dollars to be stretched further.
- More than a thousand jobs will be created over the next three years, which is crucial in any city.
- Finally, from an economic development perspective, approval of these bonds will send a message to companies who are considering Charlotte for jobs and investment that we are a city that is investing in our future.
Engage Charlotte’s mission is to work with city leaders, the business community and organizations to attract and retain young professionals in our community while serving as a voice to provide information and value to the Charlotte community. As young professionals we need to make sure we are present on Election Day, November 2, to place our vote on whom tomorrow’s leaders are and to represent our demographic on current issues. It’s with our vote that we create how viable, livable and memorable our city is.
For additional information please visit www.voteyesforbonds.com.
|Wednesday, October 20, 2010|
|You Can Support Charlotte's Future|
If you are registered to vote in the City of Charlotte, I would like to encourage you to vote for three bond issues that are on the ballot this year. They are:
- $156.6 million for roads. These will fund road and intersection upgrades, expansion of our bike path network and measures to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety.
- $32 million for neighborhood improvements. These will help to install or replace aging infrastructure such as curbs and gutters, sidewalks and streetscape in older neighborhoods.
- $15 million for affordable housing. These will provide affordable and well maintained housing for low income families.
The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce has endorsed these bonds for the following reasons:
- No tax increase will be required. The city budget already includes debt service to pay for these bonds.
- The cost of borrowing money is extremely attractive right now, allowing the city to stretch dollars farther than normal.
- The cost of construction is also attractively low right now, also allowing dollars to be stretched further.
- More than a thousand jobs will be created over the next 3 years.
- Finally, from an economic development perspective, approval of these bonds will send a message to companies who are considering Charlotte for jobs and investment that we are a city that is investing in our future. Few of our competitors will be able to say the same.
In a tough economic climate this is an opportunity to make a sound investment in Charlotte’s future. I encourage you to vote “Yes” for all three bonds. You can also show your support by going to www.voteyesforbonds.com/get-involved.html and signing up to proactively help the campaign.
Thank you for your consideration and for your support for the work of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.
|Economic Development Update|
I hope this week’s blog entry finds you well, and you’re enjoying some fabulous autumn weather in the Queen City. I recently had the pleasure of attending an economic development breakfast hosted by the Charlotte Chamber last month, which featured N.C. Secretary of Commerce Keith Crisco and an appearance by Mayor Foxx. The overall news is mixed, but upbeat.
Secretary Crisco said to expect a big announcement this fall, although he couldn’t release the details right now. North Carolina (and the Charlotte region in particular) is actively pursuing attracting new businesses and job growth. From one statistic he cited, North Carolina ranked ninth last year according to an MSNBC poll as the most business-friendly state, but jumped up to fourth this year despite the recession.
Some things you might not know are that North Carolina’s number one industry is agriculture, followed by forestry and then tourism (which accounted for nearly $74 billion in economic impact in 2009). According to Secretary Crisco, we rank as the sixth most visited state (close to moving up to fifth) and have seen an uptick in tourism this year, which he attributes to people opting to vacation in North Carolina instead of the Gulf region, which was devastated by the oil spill earlier this year.
However, it’s not all easy sledding right now – the state is going through a $3.5 billion budget cut in 2011 (which will require cut backs in some areas but not active recruiting of new businesses according to Secretary Crisco) which will mean a 27 percent cut in the state budget overall since 2007. But we are still “better than the average bear,” Secretary Crisco explained. He mentioned during the Q&A session that the state is actively looking into options to develop a viable and competitive port for shipping needs – a project which may be too costly and could take up to a decade or longer to execute but something he favors for long term growth. North Carolina is also becoming more involved in direct international investment – looking at opportunities with China and in Brazil for example.
Following the secretary’s presentation, Mayor Foxx stood up and gave a few words at the end of the breakfast to update us on Charlotte’s DNC 2011 bid. He’s still fielding calls from the DNC selection committee that visited Charlotte back in August, which is a positive sign he interprets as meaning the committee is still interested in Charlotte and the city is likely a frontrunner to host the event. Mayor Foxx couldn’t provide any more details on the discussions due to confidentiality, but said that an announcement is expected sometime between November’s election and the end of the year.
|Tuesday, October 12, 2010|
|As The Leaves Change So Should Your Plans|
|Well it is that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the weather is getting a little cooler, and the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back in style. Now many people think that when the weather starts to cool they can’t do the all the fun activities the summer offers. This is not true! Charlotte has plenty of activities to keep you busy during the Fall months. It isn’t time yet to hibernate in your place. There is still much more to experience before the Winter cold makes you think twice before stepping out your door. You might have to throw on a sweater or not be so committed to being outside, but there is still much fun to be had people.
Dogtoberfest Cornhole Tournament - http://www.bagsforwags.org/
This is probably one of the more interesting events I have seen in a while. The event is to help out a local animal rescue group, Dog Days of Charlotte. This is a great chance to get your body back into cornhole shape for all those upcoming Panther tailgating parties you will be attending.
Charlotte Ghost Tour - http://www.charlottenctours.com/
I’ve lived in this area most of my life and this is the first I’ve heard about this. This event takes place in Uptown Charlotte to explore the ghosts of the past. At only $10 for an adult ticket it should prove to be interesting to say the least.
NoDaWeen - http://www.nodaween.com/NoDaWEEN/NoDaWEEN_Home.html
This event looks jam packed with fun. You have everything from a 5k race to watching the classic film Rocky Horror Picture Show. This should prove to be a great way to celebrate the holiday with friends and loved ones.