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Reflections from the Chamber's CONNECT Amy Griggs

Garner and the Triangle,

Aligning Before Our Eyes


By Amy Griggs - Consulting Editor of The Garner News.

Click here for photos of the event, taken by Aaron Lurie with VMA Studios.
Click here to view video of CONNECT Session: Retail Realities
Click here to view video of CONNECT Session: Get on the Bus
Click here to view video of CONNECT Session: Opportunity Zones

Click here for the entire article on the Garner News Website.

The Garner Chamber of Commerce’s 10th annual conference, “Connect & Plug in the Future” on Aug. 15, inspired attendees in ways that are hard to measure but plain to see.

The planets and stars are in alignment for Garner, it seems.
Now as everything aligns, consider this “breaking news” video announcement which began the conference: Startup of, and its role as a community builder.
Revealing the creation of the online newspaper was a natural for Connect; two years ago the conference featured a segment titled, “Is Garner a News Desert?” Attendees clearly craved a local paper, and now you are probably reading it online, evidence of the chamber’s on-point timing of a forum and follow-up efforts. More about this later.
The business community, abuzz from the promised conference agenda, left with even more than they bargained for: Retail wisdom from experts Laurie Pearson and Sarah Quinlan (many in Garner remember when there was virtually no retail here). Meaty information from consulting transportation engineer Greg Saur of WSP and Het Patel of the City of Raleigh, formerly of Town of Garner, on the opportunities afforded by the proposed Bus Rapid Transit system, which finds the southern corridor leading to Garner.

And discussion of the concept of opportunity zones, featuring attorney Lee Hodge of Ward and Smith, P.A., and Thomas Barker, senior tax accountant of Elliot Davis. Opportunity zones began as a federal incentive meant to spur investments in undercapitalized communities. Corporations and individuals are eligible for tax incentives to encourage those with capital gains to invest in areas typically featuring lower income residents, higher poverty and unemployment. Garner area OZs offer opportunities to developers, and residents stands to benefit, they say.
That segment provided a natural segue into the dynamic trio of John Kane, Billie Redmond, and Steve Malik, who are poised inject new life and vitality into Garner’s neighbor to the north—and by virtue of proximity, Garner—with a dream project causing quite the stir since their formal announcement in June.
Click here to read the entire article on The Garner News Website.

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