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Jacksonville-Onslow businesses confident about economy after expo

By Alison Parker
Published On: Mar 21 2013 05:15:29 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 21 2013 10:46:18 PM CDT
JACKSONVILLE -

Once sequestration takes effect, Melonie Marzett with Jacksonville Recreation and Parks knows times could get tough for many local families.

"For some people, it's really hard, and with our department, what we try to do is compensate, make sure we try to offer activities that are affordable to everybody that's going through a rough time in our economy," Marzett said.

More than 100 businesses came from Jacksonville and Onslow County to the 21st annual Business Expo Thursday to network with other business owners and the community.

Onslow County being one of the fastest growing counties in the nation puts many business owners at ease, but the possibility of civilian furloughs affecting many families in the area because of military spending cuts is in the back of their minds.

U.S. Department of Defense officials say 800,000 civilian employees nationwide could be furloughed for 22 days in the 2013 fiscal year. That's something that hits home for civilians who work on the local bases like Lejeune, New River and Cherry Point. Many business owners say they're here to help.

"We do find there are those who are having difficulties of challenges," said Peggy Rochon with Hope For The Warriors. "I think living here in Jacksonville, we are very blessed because we have such a wonderful civilian and military community that works so closely together."

Renee Parks with the Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce agrees.

"Our businesses here are completely supportive of the military community," Parks said. "They understand the situations that are going on and they're working together, making sure everyone stays strong."