More News

Publisher's note: The heat is on!

By Marty Cayton, posted 3 weeks ago

Summer has arrived and like the theme song from the first Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack, “The Heat Is On!” And with the heat, comes summer vacation, but not for everyone. 

This has usually been the time when families get away for vacation and travel, but it can be an exhausting time, both physically and financially. In fact, a recent survey by Bankrate showed that only 53% of Americans are planning a summer vacation and the Pew Research Center recently reported that the American middle income family continues to shrink, declining by 10% over the last 50 years. Although there was a positive sign from the research that showed the upper-income households had grown by 8% during that same period, the growth in the middle income households has not stayed in step with the growth of the upper income tier and their share of US household income has dropped significantly. 

According to CPS (Current Population Survey), middle-income households with three people have incomes between $61,000 and $183,000 annually and the lower and upper income families represent the lower and the higher end of these numbers. 

One of the most important stabilizers for household incomes, our economy and a significant key to growing both middle and upper income families, is the entrepreneurial mom and pop small business. 

According to the Center for American Progress, Forbes and Fast Company - entrepreneurs started 5.2 million businesses between January 2021 and December 2023. That’s 33% more than those filed between 2017 and 2019.

All of this growth has happened in spite of a difficult regulatory environment and, as always, comes from individuals of all backgrounds, seeing themselves and their businesses as “gap fillers” and problem solvers. 

In this election year and beyond, the best thing our government (federal, state and local) can do to help is to develop “do no harm” agendas that fuel business growth and creation - not hinder it. 

My hope for the future of our country, state and city/county is that we will do whatever it takes to keep this momentum moving forward. Where there are hindrances - we will remove them. Where there are opportunities - we will seize them. As we celebrate our country’s 248th birthday this Thursday, let’s remember how blessed we all are.

I for one would love to see that all families could take a summer vacation. Those that have done well can help here by continuing to grow and improve and help others in the process.

God bless you and yours!

Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT

In The Current Issue

Fantasy comes to life: Fayetteville-based travel agency Flights & Fables brings dream vacations to life with curated fantasy destinations and tours

Between the stunning peaks of New Zealand and as far as the castles of Europe, Flights & Fables puts a literal spin on the phrase ‘dream vacation.’ This unique full-service travel agency fuses passion and expertise to provide clients with a vacat


Bringing it all together: Lumbee Guaranty Bank is working to combine two Fayetteville locations into one to better serve customers

Lumbee Guaranty Bank’s new Fayetteville branch will be located at 2939 Village Drive. This new location will be better equipped to cater to customers with its ample parking and a drive up ATM. Photo provided by Lumbee Guaranty Bank. Lumbee Guara


Leading military business: NCMBC Executive Director Scott Dorney reflects on time with the institution, his career and the future of military business

 Scott Dorney became the executive director of the NCBMC in December 2004. Since then he has worked hard to create a robust connection between North Carolina businesses and the federal and defense contractors. Photo provided by NCMBC.Scott Dorne