Published: Feb 21, 2009 06:25 AM
Modified: Feb 21, 2009 01:40 AM
The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce has raised half its $2.5 million goal for its Visions 3D campaign, chamber leaders announced at their annual meeting Tuesday.
The four-year economic development strategy aims to create more than 9,000 new jobs, averaging 10 percent above the typical Durham County wage.
"It's a big [fundraising] goal ... we're halfway there," said John Stallings, president of the Central North Carolina Region for SunTrust Bank. Stallings and Victor Dzau, president and CEO of Duke University Health System, are co-chairing the campaign.
Tuesday's meeting marked the kickoff of the Visions 3D campaign, which chamber leaders say could generate $570 million annually in local consumer spending.
The plan calls for the chamber to help create 50 new or expanded businesses, create $737 million in new local earnings and increase private capital investment in Durham by $1 billion.
The $1.25 million raised so far started with large local companies laying the foundation for the public phase of the fundraising effort. Next, appeals went out to small and mid-size companies.
Early contributors include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, BB&T, Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Duke University and Duke University Health System, Duke Energy, Fairway Outdoor (Advertising), Independence Park Apartments, Morgan Motors, the Research Triangle Park & Foundation and SunTrust Bank.
All "have stepped up to the plate and showed their vote of confidence in Vision 3D and its tremendous impact on our community," honorary campaign chairman Bob Ingram said in a release.
The chamber is the official development organization for Durham County. Tuesday's meeting took place in the Durham Convention Center, formerly the Civic Center. The center, which is attached to the downtown Marriott, is jointly owned by the city and county and has generated an estimated $91.5 million for the local economy since it opened, Mayor Bill Bell said.
The center is overseen by the Durham Convention Center Authority.