Business Summit & Economic Outlook

Brent Finnegan -- February 19th, 2010

Yesterday morning around 200 local business owners, managers, organizers and leaders gathered at First Presbyterian Church to hear a sometimes gloomy economic forecast for the Harrisonburg metro area. The event combined the annual Chamber of Commerce economic forecast with the Harrisonburg Summit on business and the economy.

Liz Povar, speaking for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, said the economic outlook for the state looks grim. Unemployment is not expected to shrink, and the economy may get worse before it gets better. Povar painted a silver lining by telling the assembly that the state intends to focus on energy: nuclear, wind, and coal. Her office believes that energy is the key to weathering this economic storm.

After the forecast, the majority of the gathering stuck around for the summit. As with the previous four summits, the attendees set the schedule and agenda by facilitating breakout groups, scattered around downtown. Topic ranged from marketing and real estate, to agriculture and community investment. Even I convened a session on how businesses can use blogging and social media to their advantage.

An (incomplete) list of group summaries can be found here.

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