Community members gathered at the Hilton Garden Inn Wednesday evening to bid farewell to the former president and CEO of the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance, Dan Furphy, and welcome JJ Harris as he takes the reins.

Harris says while state funding and efforts of organizations like the LCBA are helpful in spurring economic development, no local business can succeed unless the people of Laramie spend money in the Gem CIty.

Several local restaurants have gone out of business recently, and Harris says sometimes there's nothing that can be done to keep a business from closing. But he adds that Laramie's economy is stable, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Wyoming.