Biz Roundup: Rowan Chamber Minority Business Council set to host entrepreneur professional development

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 8, 2022

SALISBURY — The Rowan Chamber Minority Business Council will host a Zoom meeting on May 17 at 9 a.m. for entrepreneurs looking to scale their business.

Entrepreneur Organization Accelerator CEO Bryan Delaney will explain his successful entrepreneurial journey and how he is working to help other entrepreneurs in the Charlotte Region.

The meeting will also cover how entrepreneurs are transitioning from working for their business to working on their business through Scale up CLT, a scholarship program to help diverse entrepreneurs, and the EO Accelerator program.

For the Zoom link, contact the Rowan Chamber at 704-633-4221.

Food Lion expands education assistance program with tuition reimbursement eligibility

SALISBURY — Food Lion announced last week that it is expanding its education assistance programs for its more than 82,000 full-time and part-time associates.

Part-time and full-time associates are eligible for tuition reimbursement, which includes tuition, books and class-required fees from any accredited learning institution, after six months of continuous employment.

“Food Lion employs over 82,000 associates at different stages of their careers, and it’s imperative that we provide an equitable playing field for each and every one,” said Linda Johnson, Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Communications Officer of Food Lion. “We encourage and support our associates to always learn and grow. Enhanced tuition reimbursement benefits and educational programs provide greater opportunities for all Food Lion associates.”

Food Lion will offer over 250 degree programs from 15 education providers at a reduced cost. Degree programs include online and in-person courses to earn undergraduate degrees or certificates and graduate degrees. Access to these discounted educational offerings is available to all associates on their first day of employment.


Credit Union holds ribbon cutting in Granite Quarry

GRANITE QUARRY — State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) officials celebrated the new Granite Quarry office on Tuesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The branch at 970 North Salisbury Ave. offers a range of financial services and features.

“We are so happy to have this new location to offer our membership even

greater accessibility and convenience. The members who live and work in the Granite Quarry area have been looking forward to having this branch for quite some time. We want everyone to know that we are thrilled to be here to serve them in their own community,” said Lori Cinquemani, SECU VP/city executive in a news release,


NC Idea Foundation Awards $150,000 to 15 NC Startups

DURHAM — NC Idea, a private foundation, has awarded $10,000 each to 15 North Carolina startups in its eighth NC Idea Micro grant cycle. Since the inaugural cycle in 2018, the program has awarded over $1.3 million to 133 young companies across the state.

Green Solutions Group, LLC of Salisbury is also a finalist for the 33rd cycle for a $50,000 grant picked from the 24 semifinalists. These 12 finalists will present before a review panel and approximately five to seven grant recipients will be announced later this month.

Through small, project-based grants, the awards of $10,000 help young companies looking to validate and advance their ideas. The program, piloted in 2018, was created as an expansion of the Foundation’s long- standing Seed grant program to provide funding to promising startups not yet positioned for the Foundation’s traditional $50,000 grants




North Carolina announces total tourism spending at near recovery in 2021

RALIEGH — Gov. Roy Cooper announced that the North Carolina tourism industry saw a major recovery in 2021 with $28.9 billion in visitor spending.

With domestic travel reaching new heights as international visitation lagged, the total falls just 1 percent below the record set in 2019 and represents a 45 percent increase from pandemic-stricken 2020.

“We know visitor spending helps fuel our economy in all 100 counties by sustaining local businesses, supporting thousands of jobs and bringing in tax revenue and that’s why we’ve been working to encourage tourism,” said Governor Cooper. “After being hit hard in 2020, tourism has bounced back as people around the world are again getting to see and experience the greatest state in the country.”

Gov. Cooper’s announcement coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week from May 1 – 7, when travel and tourism professionals across the country unite to underscore the value of travel to the economy, businesses, communities and personal well-being. For the second year in a row, North Carolina ranks No. 5 in domestic visitation.

The state’s tourism-supported workforce increased 10.5 percent to 197,500 jobs in 2021 and reverses the more than 26 percent loss in employment suffered in 2020. The total remains 18 percent below the record 242,600 jobs from 2019. Tourism payroll increased 19 percent to $7.7 billion. As a result of visitor spending, state and local governments saw rebounds in tax revenues to $2.3 billion.

The figures are preliminary findings from research commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, and conducted by Tourism Economics. In measuring the economic value of the travel sector, the research incorporates a broad range of data sources to ensure that the entire visitor economy is quantified in detail. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, OmniTrak visitor profiles, the U.S. Census, STR lodging reports and the N.C. Department of Revenue are among the sources included in this comprehensive model.

The research shows that domestic visitor spending has fully recovered in North Carolina while international spending still lags. In 2021, domestic visitors spent $28.6 billion, a figure that tops the 2019 record by 2.4 percent. International visitor spending rose nearly 26 percent, but it is still down more than 74 percent from 2019.

“We’re encouraged by the report on the recovery of our tourism industry, which is essential to the state’s economic well-being,” said North Carolina Department of Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “More than 45,000 small businesses across North Carolina rely on what visitors spend – on everything from lodging and dining to transportation, recreation and retail.”

Sanders noted that as a result of travelers’ contributions to state and local tax revenue, North Carolina households averaged about $580 in yearly savings.

Tourism facts:

• Total spending by domestic and international visitors in North Carolina reached $28.9 billion in 2021.That sum represents a 44.9 percent increase over 2020 expenditures. The figure falls 1 percent below the record $29.22 billion spent in 2019.
• Domestic travelers spent a record $28.6 billion in 2021. Spending was up 45.2 percent from $19.7 billion in 2020.
• International travelers spent $337 million in 2021, up 25.6 percent from the previous year.
• Visitors to North Carolina generated $3.9 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2021. The total represents a 29 percent increase from 2020.
• State tax receipts from visitor spending rose 34 percent to nearly $1.2 billion in 2021.
• Local tax receipts grew 26 percent to $1.1 billion.
• Direct tourism employment in North Carolina increased 10.5 percent to 197,500.
• Direct tourism payroll increased 18.9 percent to $7.7 billion.
• Visitors spend more than $79 million per day in North Carolina. The spending adds $6.4 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.3 million in state taxes and $3.1 million in local taxes.)
• Each North Carolina household saved $580 on average in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state. Savings per capita averaged $222.
• North Carolina hosted nearly 45 million visitors in 2021.