March 29, 2004

RALEIGH — How optimistic are business leaders that North Carolina’s economic climate will improve in the coming months and years? And what do they believe state and local policymakers should do to change that climate for the better? These and other critical questions will be addressed over the coming weeks as the John Locke Foundation travels to cities across North Carolina to present and discuss the findings of a statewide survey of business executives.

“Climate Change 2004: Economic Readings and Forecasts from North Carolina Business Leaders” is the name of the research project, conducted by Locke Foundation analysts John Hood and Chad Adams.

Hood is chairman and president of the John Locke Foundation, a nonprofit think tank based in Raleigh. Adams directs JLF’s Center for Local Innovation and currently serves as vice chairman of the Lee County Commission.

Adams is a fellow at the Institute for Political Leadership and was first elected to the Lee County Commission in 1998. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and pursued graduate studies at N.C. State University. As director of CLI, Adams focuses primarily on issues facing cities and counties, helping to craft and promote innovative solutions in such areas as budget and tax policy, transportation, and growth policy.

Between them, Hood and Adams will visit at least 17 cities across North Carolina in late March, April, and early May to present the findings and invite public discussion at events hosted by JLF, local taxpayer organizations, chambers of commerce, and other civic organizations.

Respondents to the “Climate Change” survey include leaders of large and small businesses in every corner of North Carolina. The findings explore such issues as expectations for growth, how taxes and other public policies affect the state’s competitiveness, transportation priorities, education, economic incentives, immigration, and the cost- effectiveness of state and local services.

The results are broken out by six regions — the Triangle, the Triad, the Charlotte area, Western NC, Northeastern NC, and Southeastern NC — and compared to previous surveys of business leaders and North Carolina voters in 2002.

A preliminary list of events in JLF’s“Climate Change” spring tour across North Carolina can be found below. For more information, call JLF Vice President Kory Swanson at 919-828-3876 or visit


“Climate Change 2004” Spring Tour
Tentative dates as of 3/29/04

March 29
12:00p Raleigh — Shaftesbury Society discussion club and luncheon, JLF, 200 W. Morgan Street, Raleigh

March 30
12:00p Burlington
07:00p Mocksville

April 5
07:00p Graham/Swain counties

April 6
08:00a Polk County
12:00p Asheville
07:00p Bakersville

April 8
12:00p Pinehurst

April 19
12:00p Winston-Salem

April 20
07:00p Yadkinville

April 26
07:00p Wilkesboro

April 27
12:00p Stokes County
06:30p Statesville

April 28
08:30a Asheboro/Randolph Chamber of Commerce, 317 East Dixie Drive

April 29
08:00a Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce
12:00p New Bern-Sheraton Grand luncheon

May 17
12:00p Charlotte Chamber of Commerce