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New Hanover County Seeks Citizen Input on Economic Growth Strategy

Arts and culture.  The Film Industry.  Access to outdoor recreation a la the beach or the river.  Even road infrastructure…

These are some of the survey options that people who live or work in New Hanover County can identify as regional strengths.  That’s so local authorities can measure the positive, negative, and missing elements that comprise the business climate in the region.  In partnership with the City of Wilmington, County officials have hired a consultant to solicit input from the public and craft an economic growth plan based on the data. 

County officials have already worked with a variety of focus groups representing divergent interests, and they’ve undergone an economic development assessment. 

Assistant County Manager Tim Burgess says the public survey is designed to generate feedback on how conducive the area’s business climate is to growth and how well local infrastructure – both hard and soft -- serves the growth imperative.   

“We anticipate that some time probably in March that the plan will be finalized and that the consultant will come back with recommendations as to -- things that he sees as a consultant – things that we do well, things that we need to improve on here in New Hanover County -- if we would like to enhance our economic development.”

Obstacles to the area’s growth could be as far-ranging as lack of cooperation between the city and the county -- to distance from other large population centers.  The County is spending about $100,000 on the whole project:  that includes the research, focus groups, survey, and final economic development plan. 

The deadline for taking the survey is November 18th at 5 PM. 

To participate and share your perceptions on where the area stands, visit http://ilmcc.questionpro.com. The survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete and the responses are anonymous.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.