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What happens if Norfolk Southern leaves Norfolk?

"Just the mere fact that Norfolk Southern is entertaining this move to Atlanta should send shockwaves throughout the Hampton Roads region."

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) — Norfolk Southern could decide if it will move its corporate headquarters from downtown Norfolk to Atlanta, Georgia.

For months, there's been talk about the Fortune 500 company’s future in Norfolk. However, the decision to leave depends on a crucial vote by Atlanta City Council.

Tidewater Community College business professor Peter Shaw said the company relocating to another city could have a huge impact beyond the city of Norfolk.

"Just the mere fact that Norfolk Southern is entertaining this move to Atlanta should send shockwaves throughout the Hampton Roads region," said Shaw.

Shaw stated three major impacts, Norfolk Southern, leaving the are could have. Firstly, he said there are the immediate job loss and employees contributing to the local economy.

"Of course these people have nice large paychecks that they spend in the community. I understand that some people maybe someone that's living in Suffolk or somewhere in Chesapeake may say that's a Norfolk problem. No, it is not. It's a regional problem," said Shaw.

Secondly, Shaw said the contributions the company makes to the are could be impacted, and Old Dominion University Economics professor Vinod Agarwal agrees.

"They also contribute lots of money for local charities, museums, art. The philanthropic contribution is significant and obviously as these companies move so do those contributions," said Agarwal.

However, Shaw and Agarwal said the Hampton Roads region runs the risks of being known as the area that lost a Fortune 500 company.

"Whenever you have a Fortune 500 company, if anything happens to earnings, profits or what have you it makes national news. It provides lots of visibility to the area to mention Norfolk Southern," said Agarwal.

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