High Point leaders hold virtual ‘State of the City’ panel

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — Spring furniture market canceled, no minor league baseball downtown and employees working from home.

All of that means a drop in business in High Point.

Still, city leaders are not giving up on the future.

“No matter where you are, no matter what you’re dealing with, there’s still opportunities. There’s opportunities for everyone to adapt, to overcome and think about things in a new way,” said Mayor Jay Wagner at Thursday morning’s State of the City.

Wagner has his eyes on the future. The pandemic may have slowed city growth initiatives but it hasn’t stopped them.

“We have to have courage to continue to pursue that plan,” Wagner said.

It is a strategic plan to get people to come to the city instead of city leaders having to pitch High Point.

It starts with safety and beautification.

“We need a vibrant downtown, we need people working downtown,” Wagner said.

“We are a big economic impact in this region and we wanted to make sure that we are partners with everyone,” said Dr. Nido Qubein, president of High Point University.

Qubein shared Thursday his campus has created 2,000 positions. Combine that with a record number of students and income for small businesses instantly increases.

“We will have challenges but I am optimistic about the future,” Qubein said.

The chamber has spent the last few months using social media to market small businesses. Chamber staff created a Facebook group that supports restaurants and another that highlights positive impacts made in the community.

“We are able to reach parts of the community that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach,” said Patrick Chapin, president and CEO of Business High Point and the Chamber of Commerce/Congdon Yards.

It is a sense of hope, opportunity and innovation that would not be possible without city partnerships and a motivation to succeed.

“How can we work together to maximize our response and how we’re going to move forward,” Wagner said.

City leaders tell FOX8 health care was not included in this year’s State of the City because there will be a webinar dedicated to it in the coming weeks.

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