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Rocky Mount ranked as best WFH location in the state


In the new popularity of positions that allowing working from home, Rocky Mounts Mills has become a driving force behind the popularity of Nash County as a remote work destination. WRAL Digitals Abbey Slattery spoke with RMM Development Manager Evan Covington Chavez about the ideal location for a Spotlight piece posted on January 13, 2022:

By Abbey Slattery, WRAL Digital Solutions

This article was written for our sponsor, Nash County Economic Development.

According to a survey from CNBC, around 1 in 4 Americans were projected to work from home in 2021.

With the flexibility to work from any location, the world is a remote employee's oyster and many are choosing Nash County.

For these remote workers, the proximity to the Triangle and lower cost of living have made the county a hot spot.

Rental rates for an apartment are going to be 30 to 40% less than what you'd find in Raleigh or Durham right now, and it's only a 50-minute drive to get to Raleigh from Rocky Mount basically a call-in meeting away, and you're there, said Evan Covington Chavez, development manager at Rocky Mount Mills. There's also the ability to pretty easily establish yourself and find a place to buy while the real estate market is hot since it's definitely not as hot and fast as it is in Raleigh. If it works out for you in Nash County, then you've got a pretty good opportunity to invest long-term and buy a home sooner.

While some people may be unsure about moving from the city to a smaller town, having a built-in community like Rocky Mount Mills helps ease any concern.

In fact, Rocky Mount Mills is a driving force behind the popularity of Nash County as a remote work destination. The revitalized historic campus brings work and play to the county, providing office space, co-working space, shopping, outdoor recreation, dining and more.

For those working remotely, it's difficult to find a much more ideal location than Rocky Mount Mills.

This whole idea of a remote work hub is basically the way that we developed Rocky Mount Mills from the beginning. It's not just a place to live, it's not just a place to work it's a place where you can walk out your front door or your apartment and find places to enjoy a beverage or have dinner or lunch. There are also tons of places to just squat with your laptop, hole up for the day and get some work done, said Covington Chavez. We've created indoor and outdoor opportunities for people to get work done or meet somebody for coffee and discuss projects that are outside of the typical office environment. Five or six years ago, those third spaces didn't really exist.

Around Rocky Mount and Nash County spaces like Trax Coffee Bar, Corner Coffee Cafe and Books and Beans are just a few of the many options available to remote workers.

At the Mills, there are also a number of professional development opportunities that can help people grow their skills and advance their careers.

We host a lot of chamber of commerce events, and in addition to that, we've seen a couple of new events come up that are especially interesting and good ways to get connected, said Covington Chavez. One is a group that had just finished a lab where they were able to get people who were just starting their careers and interested in nonprofit development. They gave them an opportunity to make their pitch and see their ideas through impacted rural communities.

There are also a couple of small business catalyst and startup groups that are either through the community colleges or through education collaboratives that are working to get those up-and-coming professionals together, as well.

Aside from third spaces and professional development opportunities, the quality of life in Rocky Mount also contributes to its role as a work-from-home hub. In addition to Nash County's low cost of living and entertainment provided by Rocky Mount Mills, the area's location along the Tar River provides locals with plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities.

Additionally, saving money on rent and mortgages and the lower cost of childcare in Nash County, frees up budgets for more fun money.

There are some families that have chosen to move back and raise their kids in Rocky Mount, and they often say that their friends in Raleigh end up spending half their income on childcare, whereas they're able to spend a lot less, said Covington Chavez. They're able to travel on the weekends and give their kids an opportunity to experience different parts of the country that some of their friends just aren't able to afford on top of childcare.

It's so important to be thinking down the line, because on top of everything else, there are all these other economical reasons that people may want to put down roots here.

This article was written for our sponsor, Nash County Economic Development.

Thanks to WRAL Digital's Abbey Slattery for this Capcom story & for this Capcom video.
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