BY KARISSA MILLER
Iredell County business and industry leaders are optimistic about the coming year.
Iredell Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President and CEO Jenn Bosser presented the results of an existing industry survey report to the Iredell County Board of Commissioners. The results of the Business Pulse Survey, designed to measure local companies’ outlook and perceptions of the business climate, were generally strong.
Bosser said the business survey casts a wide net and helps Iredell County leaders understand the level of satisfaction with the overall business climate as well as identifying specific needs of business.
The survey was open to business of all sizes and types in the county. There were 121 respondents, with approximately 40 percent from Statesville, 43 percent from Mooresville, 17 percent Troutman and then 9 percent from unincorporated areas of the county.
Key takeaways from the survey include:
♦ The outlook for Iredell County businesses is strong: 60% of businesses anticipate employment and sales growth over the next year.
♦ Public safety received excellent marks for satisfaction (86%).
♦ Iredell County received high marks for Quality of Life (88%) and overall Business Climate (77%).
♦ Nearly one-third of businesses anticipate expanding over the next year.
♦ The ongoing impacts of COVID remain a concern of businesses across the county
♦ The impact of COVID may be reflected in the concerns about disruption to supply chains, inflation, and the difficulty of acquiring and retaining employees.
By the Numbers
♦ During fiscal year 2020-2021, Iredell EDC supported 25 existing industry expansions, assisted with the creation of 1,080 new jobs and $409 million of capital investment.
♦ Iredell EDC served 24 small business clients, had 156 engagements with local industry, and made 230 referrals to resource partners.
The business survey, combined with industry interviews throughout the year, provides Iredell EDC with insights about the needs of local businesses and perceptions of our community.
Bosser said her team will continue to gather information about the business community to tell our story, dive deeper into industry needs, and work with partners to respond to those needs.
In other business:
♦ The board heard a presentation from Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, about the county’s June 30, 2021 audited financial statements, in which the county received an “unmodified opinion” on its finances, which means the county received the highest marks on its finances.
Commissioner Gene Hope thanked the finance staff for their hard work and thanked the citizens for trusting the board when they have asked for voter approved bonds for the schools.
♦ Commissioners unanimously voted to approve amending a grant ordinance from ARPA or American Rescue Plan Act funds to include $25,000 to help fund three part-time staff positions dedicated to cleaning and sanitizing the courthouse. The current positions will provide COVID-19 sanitizing and cleaning for the remainder of fiscal year 2022.