The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce’s flagship initiative, Cape Fear Future, has produced a new Regional Economic Scorecard intended to help business and community leaders and elected officials make decisions concerning factors that affect Wilmington’s economic health. The annual Economic Scorecard benchmarks our region against peer regions using hard data. The publication is an objective assessment of where we excel and where we have challenges which need to be addressed.
A task force of business and community leaders selected seven metro areas based on size and a diverse mix of economic assets comparable to our region:
Myrtle Beach, SC: tourism and entertainment
Asheville, NC: higher education, healthcare, arts and culture, tourism and entrepreneurial environment
Savannah, GA: port, military, creative economy, tourism industry, coastal location, working river
Mobile, AL: port, transportation, coastal, manufacturing and foreign investment presence
Roanoke, VA: healthcare, tech research and higher education
Chattanooga, TN: higher education, tourism, historic, and arts and culture
Pensacola, FL: tourism, arts and culture, business growth, port and coastal
Charleston and Raleigh were selected as aspirational cities due to their exceptional growth and ability to maintain quality of place.
Charleston, SC: tourism, strong manufacturing base, port, higher education, coastal, working river
Raleigh, NC: higher education, banking/financial center, medical and telecommunications
During the severe recession that began in 2008, our region suffered major job losses. The expansion, which began mid-year 2009, differed from previous recoveries, with job creation being especially weak. As we monitored those losses and the anemic recovery, we looked to other regions to learn how they measured their growth and development. Many produce regional scorecards to assess themselves without bias, and our Cape Fear Future board determined that is was time for our region to evaluate itself in the same fashion.
The 2015 Regional Economic Scorecard provides unbiased data to collectively address our region’s top development opportunities and challenges. The scorecard will be published annually so we will be able to measure our progress in the key areas of economic development outcomes, human capital, innovation and entrepreneurship. The research, conducted by UNCW’s Dr. Adam Jones, reflects data collected from New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties.
The 1st Annual Regional Economic Scorecard Unveiling and Presentation will take place Tuesday, November 17th, from 8:00-9:30 am at the Wilmington Convention Center. This event is open to the general public. The cost for attendance is $45 per person and includes breakfast.
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