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Raleigh Mayor Baldwin and North Carolina Tech, Business Leaders Emphasize Role of Digital Tools in Economic Recovery

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA (APRIL 1, 2021) – Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin joined technology leaders and small business owners for a virtual webinar this week on the importance of digital infrastructure in supporting North Carolina’s economic recovery. “Tech Forward Webcast: How Technology Is Fueling North Carolina’s Recovery” was hosted by Jake Ward, president of the Connected Commerce Council, a non-profit membership organization representing digitally empowered small businesses. 

Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin discussed dexterity within the small business community this past year, enabled in part by digital tools and services: “As we navigate the challenges of the past year, we have recognized the value that technology has delivered at all levels of our economy – from the small business owner leveraging digital tools to sustaining operations, to the investments and commitments that technology companies have made here in the Triangle. And even though Google didn’t choose Raleigh for its new expansion, they did choose Durham. I couldn’t be happier that they could see the benefits that our region offers.” 

“For North Carolina to be able to operate over the past year, technology infrastructure has proven itself to be an essential business,” noted Michelle Calton, Vice President with the NC Tech Association. “If we didn’t have today’s tech infrastructure, things would really come to a halt, businesses wouldn’t still be operating, education wouldn’t be able to be delivered. This year has given us that perspective — we must have solid technology infrastructure.” 

David Meeker, owner of Trophy Brewing in downtown Raleigh, offered his perspective on how today’s digital economy has allowed for considerable adaptation within the small business community: “We knew how to make money getting you a beer on-site. That clearly wasn’t going to work in a pandemic. We quickly pivoted to digital and online operations, a huge transition for us, but clearly a new revenue model that we hope will stay with us for years to come.” 

“Our political leadership can – and should – embrace the role that technology platforms are actively playing in supporting the small business community,” remarked Bryan Fox, Vice President of Public Policy with the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce. “The tools that allow local businesses to reach a global customer base, operate efficiently, and keep employees on the payroll depend on a pro-tech posture.”

To view a recording of the webinar, visit: https://youtu.be/cNtrYTW99v0

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