Virtual Events

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NCGrowth seeks to help businesses create good jobs and to help communities create sustainable and equitable opportunities for their people. One way we do that is by gathering our community of small business owners, economic developers, local government officials, and ecosystem partners to share strategies and stories. As COVID-19 has made it hard for us to gather in person, we’ve worked to bring our community together online! You can watch our past webinars and events below. In addition, you can also watch the Black Communities and COVID-19 webinar series here.

For More Information Contact:
Kara Stith, Senior Program Manager

Keys to Economic Recovery Webinar 4: Data Informed Decision-Making

January 27, 2021

For the final webinar in the Keys to Economic Recovery series we heard from the creators of data tools available to communities including Carolina Tracker, Community Confidence, and the COVID Composite. UNC Chapel Hill professor Obed Pasha spoke about performance management strategies, and the results of ncIMPACT’s COVID19 Fall Survey of Local Governments were shared.

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Featured Panelist(s):

Jeff Warren, Executive Director, NC Policy Collaboratory, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Tommy Bohrmann, Chief Scientific Officer, Digital Health Institute for Transformation
Noreen McDonald, Distinguished Professor, Chair, Department of City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Jason Jones, Research Associate, ncIMPACT Initiative
Obed Pasha, Assistant Professor, School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Anita Brown-Graham, Director, ncIMPACT Initiative

Moderator(s):

NCGrowth-SmartUp Virtual Fall Showcase

December 10, 2020

This interactive online event opened with a candid chat with Elizabeth City State University Chancellor Dr. Karrie G. Dixon. The event also featured client updates from Pathfinders of Coastal Carolina of Plymouth, NC, Sanctuary Design Co. of Elizabeth City, NC, and Wetland Plants of Edenton, NC. Followed by a guided virtual tour from Deborah Malenfant of ECDI, a presentation by Quinn Novels of WRAL Digital Solutions and a lunch demo by Antwane Heckstall of the Powellsville BBQ Company.

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Featured Panelist(s):

Shannon Baylor-Henderson, CEO Content Commanders
Christian Lockamy, Elizabeth City Economic Developer
Deborah Malenfant, Executive Director Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc.
Quinn Novels, WRAL Digital Solutions

Moderator(s):

Nicole Outlaw, Program Manager, SmartUp Elizabeth City
Elizabeth Basnight, Assistant Director of Business Programs, NCGrowth-SmartUp

Keys to Economic Recovery Webinar 3: Collaboration in the Face of Crisis

November 18, 2020

The third installment in the Keys to Economic Recovery series featured Brian Elms, Innovation Practice Lead from the Change & Innovation Agency sharing innovative collaborations from the pandemic and advising participants about collaborating more effectively in their communities. Lynn Minges from Count on Me NC, Lisa Finaldi from Family Forward NC, and Christopher Chung from Economic Development Partnership of NC described their strategies for strengthening local economies and answered questions from participants about how to implement the strategies locally. Data indicate the hospitality industry is impacted more than most sectors and that parents and caregivers are leaving the workforce or struggling to balance remote learning and child/elder care responsibilities.

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Featured Panelist(s):

Lynn Minges, NC Restaurant and Lodging Association
Brian Elms, Innovation Practice Lead, Change & Innovation Agency
Lisa Finaldi, Family Forward NC
Chris Chung, EDPNC

Moderator(s):

Communities Strike Back: Local Solutions to Economic Impacts of COVID-19

November 10, 2020

This webinar will highlight examples of community-driven solutions for economic recovery from COVID-19. Experts from IEDC and NCGrowth will discuss how communities are keeping their small business afloat, taking advantage of shifting commute patterns and using technology to make long terms shifts toward resiliency.

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Featured Panelist(s):

Frankie Clogston, Vice President of Knowledge Management and Development, IEDC
Dana Crater, Senior Economic Development Associate, IEDC
Parker Martin, Senior Analyst, NCGrowth
Hillary Sherman, NC Economic Development Representative, EDA
Jessica Wilkinson, Economic Development Manager, NCGrowth

Moderator(s):

Carolyn Fryberger, Assistant Director Economic Development, NCGrowth

Keys to Economic Recovery Webinar 2: Innovation in the Face of Crisis

October 28, 2020

In this second installment of the Keys to Economic Recovery webinar series, Ryan Smith, strategic initiatives manager, City of Durham and director, Durham Recovery & Renewal Task Force shared how the innovation process works in a crisis and the importance of municipalities and counties working together. Representatives from local innovations highlighted spoke about their efforts and answered questions from participants in breakout rooms. Local innovations featured:
Small business funding programs – Belmont & Fayetteville
Increasing broadband access to support education & business sectors – Caldwell County
Using data to inform and adjust child abuse reporting processes – Gaston County
Pivoting on production to meet demand & secure employment – Carolina Textile District

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Featured Panelist(s):

Ryan Smith, Strategic Initiatives Danager, City of Durham and Director, Durham Recovery & Renewal Task Force
Michelle Haire, Economic Development Administrator for the City of Fayetteville
Suzy Hrabovsky, Executive Director, Center for Economic Empowerment & Development
Adrian Miller, Belmont City Manager
Caldwell County
Michael Halford, Assistant County Manager, Gaston County
Matt Stevens, Bright Hive
Mark Poarch, President of Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute
Deborah Murray, Executive Director, Caldwell County EDC
Sara Chester, Co-Executive Director, Industrial Commons
Bryan Steen, County Manager, Burke County

Moderator(s):

Keys to Economic Recovery Webinar 1: Project Introduction

September 30, 2020

Introduction to the Keys to Economic Recovery project, a partnership of NCGrowth and ncIMPACT funded by the NC Policy Colaboratory. The presentation includes findings from ncIMPACT’s Spring 2020 survey of local governments, data indicators on local economic conditions, and discussions with local government leaders about what conditions would make residents feel more comfortable resuming economic activity and what promising strategies they observe in local communities.

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Featured Panelist(s):

Anita Brown Graham, Director, ncIMPACT
Mark Little, Executive Director, CREATE
Emily Gangi, ncIMPACT Initiative
Carolyn Fryberger, Assistant Director Economic Development, NCGrowth
Molly Gaskin, ncIMPACT Initiative
Andreina Malki, Geography PhD Candidate

Moderator(s):

NCGrowth Virtual Summer Showcase

June 17, 2020

This engaging online event featured tours and discussion centered on the outdoor industry and tourism in 2020. We visited: The Bertie Beach in Bertie County, NC, Kitsbow Manufacturing in Old Fort, NC, The Reaves Chapel Church restoration project in Navassa—Brunswick County, NC, Sandbar Oyster Company in Morehead City, NC and Hiking and mountain biking trails in Mitchell County, NC

Read Blog | Watch Webinar

Featured Panelist(s):

Emily Yeager, Assistant Professor, East Carolina University
Heather Hodges, Executive Director, Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor
George Beatty, Board Chairman, North Carolina Rice Festival
David Billstrom, CEO, Kitsbow
Niels Lindquist, Founder, Sandbar Oyster Company
Steve Biggs, Executive Director, Bertie County Economic Development
Robin Payne, Project Facilitator, Bertie County
Rachel Taylor, Senior Analyst, NCGrowth
KJ Kearney, Head Idea Guy, Charleston Sticks Together
Sallie Ann Robinson, Chef and Gullah Cultural Historian

Moderator(s):

Carolyn Fryberger, Assistant Director Economic Development, NCGrowth
Mark Little, Executive Director, CREATE

NCGrowth Incubator Guide Launch

June 10, 2020

Understanding the benefits of an incubator is seemingly straightforward. Affordable spaces for budding entrepreneurs, a plethora of offered support services, networking opportunities, and more. However, not all communities are positioned to operate a successful incubator.

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Featured Panelist(s):

Hillary Sherman, North Carolina Economic Development Representative, EDA
Thom Ruhe, President & CEO, NC IDEA
Mavis Hill, Executive Director, Tyrell County CDC
Steve Fletcher, Community Partnership Manager, Lowcountry Local First
Jonathan Thill, President, Venture Asheboro
Will Leimenstoll, Analyst, NCGrowth

Moderator(s):

Carolyn Fryberger, Assistant Director Economic Development, NCGrowth

Mental Health Strategies Amidst COVID-19

May 27, 2020

Joined by a panel of experts, we explored resources and strategies to help business owners and their essential workers manage stress and anxiety in htis turbulent time. How can business owners be sensitive to the needs of hteir staff? What considerations need to be mad as we gradually "reopen"? How can resources providers best support their constituents? What are tangible skills anyone can use during this time?

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Featured Panelist(s):

Ruby Brown-Herring, President, Herring Training & Consulting
Janice McGilberry, Founder, connect.Center for Wellness
Dawn Baldwin Gibson, Emotional and Spiritual Care Task Force, NC Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

Moderator(s):

Kellye Whitaker, Program Manager, SmartUp North Charleston
Nicole Outlaw Staton, Program Manager, SmartUp Elizabeth City

What is the Economic Impact of COVID-19

May 20, 2020

COVID-19 is causing unprecedented implications for our economy. Millions are filing for unemployment relief, many industries were forced to temporarily cease operations, and some businesses will remain closed indefinitely.

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Featured Panelist(s):

Jason Jolley, Professor of Rural Economic Development and MPA, Ohio University
Patricia Mitchell, President, NCEDA
John Quinterno, Principal, South by North Strategies

Moderator(s):

Kara Stith, Senior Program Manager, NCGrowth and SmartUp
Carolyn Fryberger, Assistant Director Economic Development, NCGrowth