It has oft been said that a rising tide lifts all boats. The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County are banding together to create a marketing alliance between Brunswick, Pender, and New Hanover counties.
New Hanover County Board of Commissioners and the Wilmington City Council held a joint meeting to discuss recommendations made by the Garner economic development report. After broad consensus, boosting regional business growth was listed as a high priority. County Commission Chair Woody White says the goal of the three-county alliance is to streamline marketing to would-be employers and site selectors:
"They don’t necessarily know the boundaries between cities and counties; they just look at a region. Southeastern North Carolina has rail, has a port, has an ocean, a river, has a university and community college. Where do we need to move our business or expand our business? And so, we sometimes look at it in terms of one county over the other, and what we’re trying to do is have a better sense moving forward of an alliance."
Other board members caution against reinventing the wheel. They point towards existing organizations that promote the region, such as Wilmington Business Development and Southeastern Partnership.