This past week I had the honor of co-hosting the North Carolina Business and Economic Development Summit in Washington, D.C. This annual two-day event provided business leaders from across the state the opportunity to collaborate, network and discuss shared legislative and business concerns. Nearly 300 business leaders attended the summit, building relationships with their U.S. representatives and discussing ways to spur economic growth and bring jobs home to North Carolina. Attendees from our community included representatives from multiple Chambers of Commerce and leaders from the transportation, manufacturing, health care, education, hospitality, motion picture, education, energy, and financial industries. These industries are vital to our economy and must be afforded every opportunity to prosper, grow, and create jobs.
The summit kicked off with presentations from some of North Carolina’s most promising job creators and entrepreneurs. Leader such as Coach Roy Williams, Alexander Julian, and the director of the North Carolina Film Office, Aaron Syrett, shared their ideas and success stories. They stressed the importance of thinking outside the box in order to bring new opportunities to our state. The summit also included an official congressional briefing, led by several of my colleagues and myself. The briefing provided the audience an opportunity to hear about the ways we’re working to foster economic growth and take care of businesses in North Carolina. Following the congressional briefing, North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker addressed the group. Decker touted our tourism industry, which is a vital component to our economic stability and growth, bringing in more than $19 billion a year.
The second day of the summit was just as exciting as the first. Attendees heard from many federal officials, including Sen. Richard Burr and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. They talked about the importance of investing in North Carolina to create a more prosperous, skilled workforce and a pro-growth environment.
To me, the most valuable part of the summit was hearing firsthand from the summit attendees about what I can do to support our entrepreneurs and job creators at home. As your representative, I have made it my top priority to meet with businesses and educators in our community to understand the challenges we face when it comes to economic growth. Economic growth comes when American families and businesses are given the opportunity to work, save, and invest. Unfortunately, this opportunity is hindered by cumbersome government regulations, excessive red tape, and bloated bureaucracy. Many of the bureaucrats who are writing the rules and regulations affecting our lives have never even been to North Carolina. How do they know what’s best for our communities? This is precisely why I cosponsored the REINS Act (H.R. 367), which requires Congress to approve every major rule proposed by the executive branch that has an annual economic impact of $100 million or more before it can be forced on American businesses and families.
My No. 1 priority has been and will continue to be bringing jobs home. I will remain focused on the issues that matter most — more jobs, a stronger economy, and a brighter future. I enjoyed meeting with everyone who attended the annual North Carolina Business and Economic Development Summit and I look forward to continuing this important conversation back home.
Richard Hudson is the U.S. representative for the 8th District.