Biz Roundup: State official will provide 2022 economic outlook at Chamber’s January Power In Partnership

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 26, 2021

SALISBURY — Marqueta Welton, chief of staff for the North Carolina Department of Commerce, will provide a 2022 economic outlook at the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s Power In Partnership on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 7:30 a.m.

The breakfast event will be held at Trinity Oaks at 728 Klumac Road and is being sponsored by the Rowan Economic Development Council. 

As chief of staff for the N.C. Department of Commerce, Welton guides policy development and provides strategic leadership for economic development and science and technology innovation.  She also oversees key agency operations. 

Before joining the Department of Commerce, Welton served as deputy secretary for the N.C. Department of Administration.  There she oversaw the state’s central procurement division and other internal support operations for state agencies. She is a graduate of Wayne State University Business School and Wayne State University Law School.  She is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and is a North Carolina licensed Real Estate Broker.

Marqueta Welton. Photo submitted.

The remaining PIP programs for this season include:

Feb. 17 – State Legislative Breakfast; Sponsor: Piedmont Natural Gas

March 17 – Salute to Agri-business; Sponsor: F & M Bank

April 21 – Health Care; Sponsor: Novant Health Rowan Medical Center

May 19 – Leadership Speaker; Sponsor: Duke Energy

If you are not a Power Card holder, individual reservations are welcome; however, the reservation deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 18 by 5 p.m. The cost is $15 for members and $25 for non-members. The price includes the cost of breakfast and the program. Contact the Chamber for information on reservations or sponsorship opportunities at 704-633-4221 or

The breakfast will be held just a few days after the Chamber’s annual gala, which will be hosted at West End Plaza on Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. At the gala, 2021 Chair Bob Honeycutt will pass the gavel to 2022 Chair Brad Walser. Individual reservations are $50, a couple is $85 and a corporate table is $1,000. Business professional or semi-formal attire is expected. Reservations are required by Jan. 4 and can be made by calling 704-633-4221 or

North Carolina unemployment rate improves slightly in November, below national rate

North Carolina’s seasonally adjusted November unemployment rate was 3.9%, decreasing from October’s revised rate of 4.1%, according to the Department of Commerce. 

The national rate decreased 0.4 of a percentage point to 4.2%.

North Carolina’s November 2021 unemployment rate decreased 2.5 percentage points from a year ago. The number of people employed increased 18,133 over the month to 4,843,510 and increased 130,872 over the year. The number of people unemployed decreased 10,177 over the month to 198,226 and decreased 124,884 over the year.  

Seasonally adjusted Total Nonfarm employment, as gathered through the monthly establishment survey, increased 3,500 to 4,554,800 in November. Major industries experiencing increases were Professional & Business Services, 5,000; Leisure & Hospitality Services, 2,400; Manufacturing, 1,700; Education & Health Services, 1,300; Other Services, 900; Information, 300; and Mining & Logging, 100. Major industries experiencing decreases were Trade, Transportation & Utilities, 3,700; Construction, 1,900; Financial Activities, 1,300; and Government, 1,300.

Since November 2020, Total Nonfarm jobs increased 140,500 with the Total Private sector increasing by 137,100 and Government increasing by 3,400. Major industries experiencing increases were Leisure & Hospitality Services, 43,200; Professional & Business Services, 34,400; Manufacturing, 21,300; Trade, Transportation & Utilities, 18,200; Construction, 10,700; Information, 5,400; Other Services, 4,800; Government, 3,400; Financial Activities, 100; and Mining & Logging, 100. The only major industry experiencing a decrease over-the-year was Education & Health Services, 1,100.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for Dec. 30, when the county unemployment rates for Nov. will be released. Rowan County’s non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.7% in October.

Salisbury Fire Department promotes McCulloh to battalion chief

SALISBURY — The Salisbury Fire Department has promoted Lauran McCulloh to battalion chief, Fire Chief Robert Parnell announced last week.

McCulloh joined the department in 2007 as a fire control specialist and has steadily worked her way through the ranks of firefighter, engineer, lieutenant, captain and most recently served as interim battalion chief. 

McCulloh is a graduate of South Rowan High School and holds state certifications as a Firefighter II, Fire Officer II, Fire Instructor II, Hazardous Materials Technician and possesses a National Child Passenger Seat Safety Certification. 

McCulloh earned her associate degree in emergency medical science from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and is currently pursuing a bachelor of arts in fire and emergency service administration from Fayetteville State University. McCulloh is assigned to the “B” shift as a shift commander.

McCulloh started her new post on Christmas day.

Millions of meals donated this holiday season through Food Lion Feeds program

SALISBURY — More than 6.6 million meals are helping feed food-insecure people thanks to the generosity of Food Lion customers who supported Food Lion Feeds’ “Holidays Without Hunger” campaign. 

Customers shopping at Food Lion stores purchased and donated a specially marked, pre-packed “Holidays Without Hunger” food box for $5 or made a cash donation at the register during the campaign, which ran Nov. 10 through Dec. 14. Customers purchased nearly 1.1 million “Holidays Without Hunger” boxes and donated more than $87,000.

The box of food was then donated directly to the 33 local Feeding America member food banks or their partner feeding agency in the store’s community. All cash donations benefitted Feeding

America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the country. $1 helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.

“Far too many of our neighbors are being forced to make difficult choices this holiday season between things like gas and groceries, and dinner and rent,” Kevin Durkee, manager or Food Lion Feeds said in a news release. “Nourishing our neighbors in the towns and cities we serve is core to everything we do. This was our largest ‘Holidays Without Hunger’ campaign to date, and we’re excited that so many customers joined us to help fight hunger and make a difference in their local community.”

Over the past seven years, through “Holidays Without Hunger” box sales and cash donations, Food Lion Feeds and customers have helped to provide more than 25 million meals to neighbors in need.

To learn more about Food Lion Feeds or its “Holidays Without Hunger” campaign, visit

Input requested as Cabarrus, Iredell, Rowan determine how to use funding to promote affordable housing and prevent homelessness

As the lead entity for the Cabarrus/Iredell/Rowan HOME Consortium, the city of Concord is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the tri-county region’s greatest affordable housing and homelessness needs.

The Cabarrus/Iredell/Rowan HOME Consortium was formed in 2005 for the purpose of cooperatively providing safe, decent and affordable housing to low- and moderate-income citizens. Salisbury and Rowan County are included in the consortium’s eight jurisdictions. 

Concord received over $4.7 million of HOME American Rescue Plan Program funding for the three county area. The funding comes through the American Rescue Plan Act, which was passed in 2021. The act included $5 billion in funds to be administered through the HOME Investment Partnership Program. 

Eligible uses include: production or preservation of affordable housing; tenant-based rental assistance; supportive services, homeless prevention services and housing counseling; purchase and development of non-congregate shelter units.

Concord will use the public’s feedback to guide decisions on how to target funding to specific programs and services that will increase housing stability and support homeless individuals and families, or those at risk of homelessness.

The public is encouraged to take a brief online survey to share their opinion on how funding should be allocated across four eligible categories. The survey can be accessed online at The survey closes on Jan. 5.

For more information, visit or call Pepper Bego, Federal Program Coordinator, city of Concord Planning and Neighborhood Development Department, 704-920-5133.

Atrium Health CEO ranks fourth on 100 most influential people in healthcare list

For the sixth consecutive year, Atrium Health President and CEO Eugene A. Woods has been selected as one of Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare,” rising to No. 4 on this year’s list.

The list includes government administrators and executives, elected officials, academics and thought-leaders, as well as senior-level executives within the healthcare field. Honorees are chosen by their peers and the senior editors of Modern Healthcare as being among the most influential in the industry, in terms of leadership and impact.

 Modern Healthcare noted Woods’ commitment to access for the underserved as a leading factor for his selection, along with his push to create a synergistic innovation district adjacent to the soon-to-be-constructed Wake Forest University School of Medicine Charlotte in midtown Charlotte.

Cabarrus County commemorates opening of flyover at Concord Mills shopping center, expects it to ease traffic

CONCORD — Local elected officials gathered last week for a ribbon cutting to commemorate the completion of the flyover bridge at Concord Mills.

The two-lane bridge connects Concord Mills Boulevard to Kings Grant Pavilion, the first main entrance to the sprawling shopping center from I-85.

The bridge itself was finished prior to Black Friday and gives travelers another method to navigate the traffic around Concord Mills, one of North Carolina’s largest outlet and value retail shopping centers. In addition to aiding visitors to the area, the enhanced travel experience along Concord Mills Boulevard is also a benefit to residents who frequent the thoroughfare.

“The new flyover bridge is a welcome improvement that will ease congestion for residents and visitors coming to Concord for premier shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences,” Concord Mayor Bill Dusch said in a news release. “We are a growing city known for its high performance living and look forward to continued work with our state and local partners on projects like this that enhance our infrastructure, grow our commerce, and create the best quality of place for residents to live, work, and play.”

About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at

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