No tricks, just treats, so to speak at Wednesday's sequestration forum held at Methodist University consisting of nearly 40 concerned business owners, Realtors, bankers and contractors.
Given the looming sequestration cuts in January 2013, the Chamber of Commerce put together a list of subject matter experts to talk about how those deep cuts and the ripple effect they will have on our community.
Hard facts from local industry professionals included current figures that affect our Fayetteville market and its economy addressing everything from jobs, contracts, benefits, real estate and financial woes.
"It's going to have a direct impact on this community," said Doug Nunnally, Broker-in-Charge at Keller Williams Realty. "We've got to figure out a way to put that influence back on Washington to stop this thing, to help us as homeowners."
One question from the crowd addressed the housing market in Fayetteville and the process in which appraisers are chosen. There is a concern that appraisers do not come from local areas and are therefore not accurately estimating valuations.
Keith Tilghman, Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor, spoke about the implications of the fiscal decisions that go along with the sequestration cuts.
"$200,000 federal and military positions will be cut," said Tilghman. "This would cause the unemployment rate to rise by 7/10 of 1%, making North Carolina the 10th in the U.S. for jobs impacted."
President/CEO of K3 Enterprises, Inc., Brian Kent, is one of the Chamber of Commerce's good news stories. This service disabled veteran took his business idea for a company to the Defense & Security Technology Accelerator in 2007 and one year later K3 Enterprises was the first to graduate from the program.
Kent explained in depth the four to five areas how sequestration cuts will hurt our community.
"Nobody knows how the money will be cut in January," said Kent. "If we could get the federal government out of the 120-day, and 90-day cash cycle, we could probably recover."
The group's message was a positive push towards supporting, hiring and training our local veterans. The influx of military getting ready to retire from Fort Bragg over the next few years will make up thousands of soldiers out-processing each month.
The rub? Will there be jobs to provide them? If they decide to stay local, they can invest in the housing market and their retirement dollars will be kept in our community.
This is something that Doug Peters, president and CEO of the chamber hopes will happen.