Each year the Greater Wilmington Business Journal publishes a Book on Business, an annual reference guide to the local market.
For the publication, the Business Journal asks several of the region’s economic development groups and organizations that are economic drivers to check in with a recap of what happened in the past year and what they expect for 2020.
Here are excerpts of some of their reports, in their own words. For the full outlook, pick up a copy of the 2020 Book on Business. It will be released at a launch party 4:30-7 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Country Club of Landfall.
For event info, go to our Facebook page at Facebook.com/ WilmingtonBiz
Wilmington Business Development
: Scott Satterfield, CEO
• Promote: “WBD will actively engage in ally, investor and partnership development, outreach and education that effectively promote and improve the region, its economic assets, business interests and quality of life.”
• Retain: “WBD will endeavor to support the existing businesses of Greater Wilmington and the jobs they represent.”
• Recruit: “WBD will aggressively deploy outreach tools to showcase Greater Wilmington as a destination for high-quality economic investors.”
Brunswick County Economic Development
Bill Early, executive director
Brunswick County Economic Development Foundation, doing business as Brunswick Business and Industry Development (Brunswick BID), is the lead organization for location and expansion assistance in Brunswick County.
• Completion of Brunswick BID brand and messaging.
• Construction of final infrastructure to megasites (the Mid-Atlantic Industrial Rail Park and the International Logistics Park of North Carolina).
• Development of additional product in Brunswick County.
North Carolina’s Southeast
Steve Yost, president
Continue implementation of 2017- 20 strategic marketing plan:
• Support the creation of 1,080 new jobs through marketing strategies and engagement.
• Support the creation of $540 million in private investment through marketing strategies and engagement.
• Encourage 18 company locations to the region through marketing strategies and engagement.
Wilmington Downtown Inc. (WDI)
Ed Wolverton, president and CEO
• Assist investors to finish construction on projects that will add over 600 new apartments and 120 new hotel rooms to downtown.
• Refine the Ambassador Program to adopt a hospitality-centric operation while continuing to improve public safety and cleanliness levels.
• Assist New Hanover County to envision and implement Project Grace to include a mixed-used development at the 3-acre site that currently includes the central branch of the library and a parking deck.
• Assist the city of Wilmington to select investors and start projects at the former Wave Transit site on Castle Street and the Gateway project at Third and Front streets.
• Increase outreach to downtown business and property owners.
• Identify and implement placemaking features and activities to enhance alleyways used by workers, shoppers, residents and visitors.
Wilmington Chamber of Commerce
Natalie English, president and CEO
• Launch a robust program to address the talent needs of particular sectors.
• Host a small business summit.
• Serve on the New Hanover County Complete Count Committee as part of the 2020 Census.
• Advocate for the return of Brunswick County to the Wilmington MSA.
• Facilitate regional efforts to affect transportation funding and construction.
• Disseminate information regarding the Partnership Advisory Group’s work to assist NHRMC to achieve their vision and advocate on a final outcome that is best for health care in our region.
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli
• Continue to support and enhance the mission, vision and values outlined in the UNCW Strategic Plan.
• Develop and launch new programs, including an M.S. in Healthcare Administration, M.A. in Film Studies and, in 2021, a B.S. in Respiratory Therapy.
• Continue construction of Student Housing Village as well as complete construction of Veterans Hall and renovations of Dobo Hall.
Cape Fear Community College
Jim Morton, President
• Expand offerings in Pender County. In 2020, the college will offer diesel mechanics, welding and HVAC classes in Burgaw.
• Continue to partner with economic development agencies and public officials in New Hanover and Pender counties to help attract businesses to the area, by providing training for prospective and current employees.
• Continue to expand short-term training options to meet the needs of employers.
• Develop two new academic programs: Health and Fitness Science and Public Safety Administration.
Wilmington International Airport
Julie A. Wilsey, airport director
• Add more parking services and capacity.
• Construct a third lane at the TSA checkpoint.
• Develop concession concepts for the expanded gate area in the terminal.
• Start the terminal expansion contract 3 (estimated completion by 2023).
• Focus on target destinations for new nonstop service, which included Boston, Newark and south Florida.
• Attract a low-cost airline to support inbound tourism.
• Recruit a second FBO for general aviation services.
• Attract a hotel, services station or warehouse development in the ILM Business Park.
• Recruit a corporate tenant for the South Ramp redevelopment.
• Improve wayfinding on airport roadways.
Port of Wilmington
Paul J. Cozza, executive director of the N.C. State Ports Authority
• Push forward with NC Ports’ infrastructure investment plan.
• Aggressively work with economic development organizations throughout the state to attract new business.
• Operate as a business and deliver improved profit margins and increase the return on the state’s investments.