RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A North Carolina economist is painting a positive picture of the state's economy and future despite concern about a recession.
A survey of community and business leaders across the state says demand is strong and they're optimistic it will remain that way.
"In aggregate it tell us the economy remains stronger than people maybe think it is," said Laura Ullrich, senior regional economist at the Charlotte branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. "
Sunny Miller is bullish on the economy especially in the way her Adara Spa fits into it but she still sees struggles.
"Last week alone I had no shows and no calls for interviews," she said. "There's not a standard anymore. There used to be loyalty. Work until we die then retire. Those days are gone."
Recently she teamed up with adjacent businesses on Peace Street to form a wellness collective.
She said it will help her branch out and "go with the flow" more.
"COVID made people realize what's important to them," said Sunny Miller, owner of Adara Spa on Peace Street off Glenwood South. "So whereas people had a 9-5, a structured job, now they're at the point where they have freedom and flexibility to do whatever they want."
Ullrich said the businesses she's talked to have made some contingency plans for a potential downturn but they're not cutting staff because of still how hard it is to hire.
"I do think North Carolina is uniquely positioned," said Sean Umstead, co-owner of Kingfisher and the burger spot Queeny's upstairs in Downtown Durham. "We have a diverse sort of employer base especially bigger employers."
Sean is optimistic for a lot of reasons and one because prices seem to have stabilized.
That optimism might have given what Sean needed: his best month since the pandemic started.
"People are employed and still want to go out and have a drink and burger and hang out and spend time in nice spaces," said Sean, who is a semi-finalist for James Beard Award as well.
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