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Charlotte Area

Charlotte visits...Charlotte

http://66.225.205.104/SO20090304.mp3

For the past 54 years, the Charlotte Chamber has led local businesses on an exchange visit to another U.S. city, but not this year. The Chamber says rather than go to another city, business leaders and public officials will take a closer look at their home turf. The idea is to assess what's working and what's not. Mecklenburg County Commission Chair Jennifer Roberts says the economy drove the decision. "We have heard from the community loud and clear that a lot of people in the community don't have travel budgets this year. So it's fiscally responsible," she says. Cross-city visits have typically focused on topics such as infrastructure and transportation best practices. This year, the Chamber had originally planned to go to Boston. Instead, they will invite speakers and visit Charlotte area neighborhoods. With about 130 people attending on a yearly basis the three day trip would have cost at least $273,000. Chamber officials are not yet sure how much they'll save with this new plan.