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Albemarle Tradewinds March 2018 Web OPT

March Edition of the Albemarle Tradewinds Magazine The The Economy will surge in 2018 “W e’re doing good now and we’re going to get better,” said Professor Rob McNab. Dr. Robert McNab, Director of the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy in the Strome College of Business at Old Dominion University, presented the 2018 National and Commonwealth forecast at the Chamber Strome Business series on January 31st. He presented alongside Dr. Vinod Agarwal, the Director of the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy and Director of the Economic Forecasting Project at Old Dominion University. Compliments of PressReleasePoint.Com Port of Virginia has done a phenomenal job. It is growing rapidly, operating with profi ts and at capacity,” Agarwal said. In a visual representation of Hotel Room Revenue, the Norfolk/Portsmouth sub-market had a staggering lead on neighboring cities. “The primary reason for its growth was the opening of The Main hotel in Norfolk,” he said. Agarwal also presented a positive outlook for residential housing, citing new construction activity on single family homes in the region as improving as well as the sales of new construction and existing homes. Hampton Roads Chamber President & CEO, Bryan K. Stephens welcomed the audience and moderated a question and answer session at the end of the presentation. The Chamber means business and as a powerful economic partner, the event’s forecast resonated as a call to action within the Hampton Roads business community. Dean Jeff Tanner of Old Dominion University’s Strome College of Business recognized the event sponsors and Helen Dragas, civic contributor and supporter of the Strome College of Business. Tanner also publicly announced the event as the fi rst in the newly named Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy. Chartway Federal Credit Union was the Presenting Sponsor and Chartway President and CEO, Brian Schools introduced the keynote speakers who were met with an attentive audience. The tremendously insightful economic forecast shed light on the national, state and regional economy for 2018. McNab recognized that the U.S. economy has grown ahead of the Commonwealth’s but explained Virginia’s dependence on the federal government is the predominant factor. McNab also cited Virginia’s lower than national average unemployment rate of 3.7% compared with the nation’s 4.1%. “The Virginia economy slowed in the fourth quarter of 2017, but as a whole the labor force grew.” McNab had good news for private sector profi tability, indicating “private sector is leading the way. The business tax changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will likely result in increases in corporate profi tability.” In McNab’s forecast, “2018 bodes well for the U.S. and Virginia baring political shocks or economic shakeups.” Dr. Agarwal brought additional insight as he focused on the forecast and analysis specifi cally for the Hampton Roads region. While he indicated the “regional growth in 2018 will be slower than our historical annual average,” he was optimistic that growth would continue. “We expect the Hampton Roads economy to grow at a slightly higher rate in 2018 than in 2017.” The Port of Virginia has done a phenomenal job. It is growing rapidly, operating with profi ts and at capacity, Agarwal highlighted achievements in 2017 by Hampton Roads Chamber members, The Port of Virginia and The Main, (Gold Key PHR). “The While McNab and Agarwal discussed the challenges that the area may face in the coming year, Stephens emphasized leveraging the strengths in our community. He tasked the audience with a challenge. “Have leadership courage! Make decisions to come together as a community, as a region. Demonstrate courage in leadership. We have all the requisite assets here in Hampton Roads. It’s time to roll our sleeves up and do some work.” Agarwal responded in kind to the call for regionalism. “I’ve been here since 1981 and we were talking about regional cooperation then. We still don’t work as a region and we need to get bigger and faster. This is a regional story, not a story for one individual community. We must think about this area as a region.” Audience questions to the experts included concerns about relocation of a Navy ship to Florida, future BRAC speculation, Broadband deployment, off shore drilling, and workforce demographics. McNab surprised the audience by saying, “The highest growing labor force in the U.S. is age 65 and higher.” He went on to elaborate, “The model we have in place today is 100 years old, and based on agrarian societies. We are working in a highly-competitive, globalized world, and need to work towards long-term solutions to sustain that workforce.” Stephens urged the audience to leave with a “renewed sense of energy that we can do the work ahead; that we have the outstanding leaders here in Hampton Roads to change the trend lines presented.” The Chamber Strome Series continues throughout the spring. On March 21, 2018, “Emergence of Today’s Machines” will be presented by Joshua Sullivan and Angela Zutavern, authors of The Mathematical Corporation: Where Machine Intelligence and Human Ingenuity Achieve the Impossible. On April, 11, 2018 Isabel Rullan will present “Finding Opportunity for Economic Development in the Puerto Rican Diaspora.” Closing out the series on May 2, 2018 is “Start Ups”, with Chris Heivly, the co-founder of Mapquest and author of Build the Fort. Did you know the Albemarle Tradewinds is located in more than 250 locations in NENC and Chesapeake? 30 Albemarle Tradewinds March 2018 Chesapeake’s future starts now Compliments of PressReleasePoint.Com he story of Chesapeake, is the story of its people,” said Mayor Rick West as he began “T his keynote address for the Chesapeake State of the City on Thursday, February 22nd. The Hampton Roads Chamber puts on this annual signature event in each of the 5 Southside municipalities. Chesapeake is the first in the 2018 State of the City Series. The theme of the afternoon was realizing dreams and exceeding expectations. That theme paralleled the Mayor’s personal story and the story of the city of Chesapeake. The breaking news of the event was when West made a surprise departure from the State of the City address to introduce Bob Sasser, Executive Chairman of Dollar Tree who unveiled exciting news for the region. Bob Sasser revealed the explanation behind the construction site on Volvo Parkway in Greenbrier. As Dollar Tree expands its headquarters, located on 69 acres, they will build vertically instead of horizontally across the valuable acreage. This building will be a 12 story office tower with a 7 floor attached parking garage. It will serve as the tallest building in Chesapeake, and with it comes the vision of Summit Pointe Development and an official downtown Chesapeake. This campus will include business, residential, retail and green space. This mixed-use urban style development creates a place to work, dine, live and enjoy the downtown lifestyle. It will include tree-lined streets, an entertainment venue, shopping and cafes. “These upscale offices and development will allow Chesapeake to attract top-tier talent and will be a key to Chesapeake’s success. We’re going to make you proud.” Sasser said. The video of the developing property and the vision of the completed project brought a dream into reality. Mayor West applauded the development. “Chesapeake is the place to do business,” he said. Throughout his address, the Mayor made references to Patrick Henry’s account of the historic Battle of Great Bridge the “impact on the nation could not have been imagined. Few could have dreamed Chesapeake would become the third largest city in Virginia, or that a company like Dollar Tree headquartered in that city would grow to a Fortune 200 company with over 14,000 stores,” West said. A recurring slogan for the afternoon and for the city is “The Future Starts Now.” Mayor West honored Chesapeake’s rural roots and his own education and upbringing in the city while looking ahead to infrastructure development and growth. Chesapeake Regional Health Care was the City Host Sponsor of the event and President & CEO Reese Jackson provided opening remarks. “Chesapeake fought to have their own hospital more than 42 years ago to advance and provide services for Chesapeake residents. Chesapeake Regional Healthcare is committed to the health and prosperity of the city and its residents.” Towne Bank is the State of the City Series Presenting Sponsor and City President, David Ropp introduced the Mayor. “Towne Bank shares the vision of the Chamber and the state of the city series is a time for business, civic and community leaders to come together and recognize the assets of community,” Ropp said. He presented Mayor West’s biography and as a lifelong resident of Chesapeake, Mayor West is indeed one of those assets. As a former educator, Mayor West praised the excellence and desirability of the Chesapeake Public School System and honored current educators. He also thanked Tidewater Community College for their growth and development in the city as they celebrate their 50th anniversary. Asking the audience to look around at one another, West said, “Each person you see around you is part of the future of this great city. Our city is strong, vibrant, growing and welcoming. But make no mistake Chesapeake stands at a crucial crossroads today.” West referenced the union of Norfolk County and the City of South Norfolk in 1963 to become a region for the “common good,” West said, “As it says on the City Seal, ‘One Increasing Purpose.’ The union brought together the rural heritage of Norfolk County and the urban energy of South Norfolk.” West also discussed the investment that would bring the ForKids headquarters to South Norfolk, “bringing with it jobs in excess of $12 million in capital investment.” As West looked towards the future of the city and where development in Chesapeake will go, he echoed Bob Sasser’s comments that the development of Summit Pointe as a destination will solidify Chesapeake’s position as a thriving city. “Our story will exceed even our own dreams and expectations. It’s time to get up, get going, to be excited and confident in Chesapeake’s story,” West said. 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