Like many cities across the nation, the Fayetteville area had been frustrated in its attempts to recruit new businesses. It struggled with an inability to articulate a unified vision for its future.
A group of local community leaders spearheaded a plan to have the Office of Economic Development at the University of North Carolina pinpoint the area's greatest strengths and weaknesses and then work with the community to identify the best opportunities for the region's economic growth. The findings from those initial studies confirmed what most residents already knew, that Fayetteville suffered from a poor community image, fragmented territorial local leadership and underutilized military bases- the home of over 75,000 soldiers and dependents.
What was different this time, was that the area set concrete goals to break down those barriers. Through a process that involved several hundred citizens from all walks of life, the community defined objectives. The three main objectives were to develop a unified vision for economic development, to improve Fayetteville's image and to leverage the military presence to create economic development opportunities.
As a result of the findings and recommendations of the Greater Fayetteville Futures community initiative, the group reviewed ways to coordinate its economic development effort.
The Cumberland County Business Council (Chamber) was formed in March of 2003 to streamline and coordinate the efforts of the Fayetteville Area Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Development Corporation and the Fayetteville Area Economic Development Corporation and is now headed by one President- for all organizations.
In July of 2008 the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce was formed.
Today prospects are not only educated on the economic feasibility of the area, but are often also exposed to staff members with expertise in other areas that may be important to a client.
In 2012, the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce took on a new name and a clearer mission. The Fayetteville Regional Chamber will be the catalyst for growing this community into a major economic center in the Southeast United States for business, defense and industrial development.