Chamber begins closer examination of Charlotte
Every year the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce leads business people on a visit to another city. Because of the recession, the Chamber opted this year to take a closer look at itself. About 130 business people and elected officials will participate. WFAE's Julie Rose reports. A new survey commissioned to kick off the Chamber's 3-day tour gives a mixed snapshot of Charlotte. Compared to 8 other metro areas in the Southeast, Charlotte ranks third, behind Austin, Texas and Raleigh-Durham. For housing prices, income levels and commute times, Charlotte scores well; but ranks much lower on job opportunities and racial equity. Chamber President Bob Morgan says the recession is forcing Charlotte to take a harder look at itself than in the past. "All anybody wanted to talk about was 'What is Charlotte going to look like 20 years from now,'" says Morgan. "In the last six months we haven't gotten that request. They want to know what we look like tomorrow. And when you look at what has happened in the banking center, to the economy generally, we all have a healthy dose of humility through which to address these kinds of issues." The Chamber's three-day event includes panel discussions on education, diversity and transportation, with speeches from Governor Bev Perdue, Duke CEO Jim Rogers and Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf.