Connecting the community
Published 4:43 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2023
JACKSON – The Northampton County Chamber of Commerce helps local businesses make connections with customers and the community.
So it was only fitting that they invited Bo Coughlin of Fybe (formerly known as Roanoke Connect) as the keynote speaker for the Chamber’s Annual Meeting held on June 8 at the county’s Cultural and Wellness Center. The local business, which is a part of Roanoke Cooperative, is currently working to connect people in the area to high-speed internet access.
Coughlin serves as Chief Operating Officer for Fybe, a position which he took in 2021, and explained that he joined Roanoke Cooperative because “we’re here to serve the community.”
“There’s nobody that knows your community better than yourself,” he added, emphasizing the importance of getting input and feedback from local people as they continue to lay the groundwork to expand their service. “We really do want to hear from you, whether it’s good or bad.”
During his remarks, Coughlin provided updates on projects, including public wi-fi access in municipalities and the company’s expansion in Northampton County. He also noted that the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is available for people who meet the qualifications to help them get the service at no cost.
Coughlin didn’t have schedule specifics, but said work is supposed to commence soon for the middle and western portion of Northampton County, after having finished work in the eastern part of the county. He estimated that work should be completed by the end of this year, and then expansion to the last part of the county – in the westernmost tip around Lake Gaston – would commence next year.
“It took some time to ramp up, but I think we’re getting a lot better. All of Northampton will be served by 2025. We’re going as fast as we can,” he concluded.
The annual Chamber of Commerce event was co-sponsored by RayNita Morrison, Director of the Roanoke Chowan Community College Small Business Center. Attendees were treated to a catered meal, and the Chamber Board held an election for officers.
Elected officials in attendance were recognized, and representatives from several towns shared information about ongoing projects and revitalization efforts.
Chamber Director Judy Collier and Chamber Board President Lokie Majette also presented annual awards for local businesses.
Farrow and Sons, based in Jackson, was recognized as Small Business of the Year.
The Corporate Business of the Year award was given to Roanoke Cooperative, with CEO Marshall Cherry accepting on their behalf.
The event wrapped up with door prizes and musical entertainment provided by JaShaun Peele, a successful saxophone player who grew up in Garysburg.