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Chamber Hosts 11th Annual State of the Community Report

Chamber Hosts 11th Annual State of the Community Report

Member News CEO Statement Event Partnership for a Sustainable Community Connect Advocate
Chamber unveils latest data tracking the well-being of Greater Chapel Hill and reports ten key findings
Chapel Hill, NC: The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce and its Partnership for a Sustainable Community today hosted the State of the Community Report, an annual event which tracks the well-being of Greater Chapel Hill across social, economic, and environmental indicators.
“Our vision is for Greater Chapel Hill to be a globally recognized community. To get there, we must know where we lead and where we lag,” said Aaron Nelson, President and CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce.
The event, attended by nearly 400 local leaders, featured a two-hour presentation that dove into data and covered a range of topics, including: demography, growth, migration, employment, workforce, commuting patterns, the economy, sales, education, housing, hunger, health, crime, and poverty.

Ten Key Findings:
  • Income - Household income in Orange County is growing faster than surrounding counties and outpacing inflation.
  • Sales - Orange County leads in per capita income (#1 in the state), but lags in per capita sales tax (#48). The retail gap remains wide with additional retail opportunity on the horizon.
  • Housing - Housing prices are increasing, though the rate of growth in Orange is slowest. 
  • Jobs/Workers - Job growth is keeping up with worker growth in Orange County.
  • Young People - More young people (under 29) are living and working in Orange County, and more who live outside the county are commuting into Orange for work. 
  • Rent/Wages - Rent is getting more expensive in Orange County, but wage growth is outpacing it. The percent of people spending more than 30% of their income on rent in Orange County is declining.  
  • Growth - This decade (“the teens”) is on pace to be one of the slowest growing decades in the history of Orange County (1% or less). We are less dense than peer communities.
  • Education - Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools continue to outperform peers and minority student achievement is on the rise.
  • Poverty - Poverty and children in poverty is declining.
  • Crime - Crime is down.

The data used in this year’s State of the Community Report was developed in partnership with Carolina Demography, the Town of Chapel Hill, Orange County, and the Triangle Community Foundation. At the event conclusion, Vice Chair of the Chamber Board of Directors and Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Coastal Credit Union, Creighton Blackwell, announced subsequent deep dive sessions at the Chamber of Commerce offices to allow guests to continue the candid conversations. The first will be on September 7th with Dr. Rebecca Tippett, Director of Carolina Demography. Please save the date and stay tuned for more information. 

“As a community, we have some work to do and that’s the point of today – to gather local leaders and generate candid conversations,” said Nelson. “Through it all, the bottom line is that Greater Chapel Hill remains one of the best places in the world to live, work, shop, play, learn, and raise a family.” 
The event was held at the UNC Friday Center for Continuing Education in Chapel Hill, used the Twitter hashtag #CHCSOTC, and featured several speakers, including: Aaron Nelson, President and CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Rebecca Tippett, Director of Carolina Demography; Reagan Greene Pruitt, Vice President of Integrated Marketing & Community Engagement for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce; and the Managers for Orange County and Town of Chapel Hill, Bonnie Hammersley and Roger Stancil.
Sponsors for the event included Triangle Community Foundation (Presenting Sponsor), Durham Tech (Breakfast Sponsor), Mosaic Comprehensive Care (Networking Sponsor), Pinnacle Financial Partners (Leadership Graduation Sponsor), First Citizen Bank (Program Section Sponsor), and Bank of America and The Design Response (Contributing Sponsors). Pictures from the event will be available soon.

About: The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization that serves and advances the business interests of the greater Chapel Hill community, including Carrboro, southern Orange, northern Chatham, and southwest Durham counties. Members count on the Chamber to connect them with people, information, and resources; advocate for local business interests; promote our members, community, and quality of life; and help members save money. The Chamber network is getting stronger with members who share a vision for a more sustainable community where business thrives. Follow us on Twitter @CarolinaChamber
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