Wilmingtonbiz logo

Brunswick County, WBD Reach Formal Agreement On Efforts To Lure Jobs

By Cece Nunn, posted Apr 3, 2017
Wilmington Business Development and Brunswick County have reached a formal agreement that officials say will improve the coordination of economic development services across county and municipal lines, according to a news release Monday.

Leaders of both entities recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that outlines collaboration and joint initiatives, the release stated. The agreement does not involve any funding.
WBD has been leading economic development programs for New Hanover and Pender counties and the city of Wilmington. The new MOU serves as a collaborative framework for regional economic development services and programs to bring new companies, jobs and economic investment to Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties, according to the release.

"This agreement illustrates a commitment by both parties to build in earnest on the informal partnership we've long had to work together in instances where it makes sense to do so," said Dickson McLean, chairman of Wilmington Business Development, in the release.
Frank Williams, chairman of the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners, said in the release that the MOU reflects a long-standing relationship between the entities.

"We have always regarded WBD as one of our key local partners in pursuing economic development initiatives," he said.
In 2015, Brunswick County and WBD worked closely to organize a familiarization tour of the three counties by national site selection consultants and corporate real estate professionals, the release stated. The "fam tour," along with the call for increased collaboration, grew from recommendations by Atlanta-based Garner Economics, dubbed "The Garner Report," which analyzed the region's economic potential in 2014. The Southeastern Partnership, the regional marketing entity whose footprint includes Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties, also participated in the hosting the fam tour.
"I am pleased that the longstanding productive relationship between Wilmington Business Development and Brunswick County Economic Development is further strengthened by both boards approving this agreement," said Brunswick County Manager Ann Hardy in the release. "We are positioned to facilitate investment in our region, and the strength of this collaboration will enhance those opportunities for the entire region."
In the summer of 2015, the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners voted to make Brunswick County Economic Development a county office rather than continuing to provide some funding and support to the separate legal entities that previously did the job. Last year, officials appointed Mike Hargett as director of a combined economic development and planning department for the county.

In Monday's release, Hargett said cross-county cooperation has been part of regional job growth strategies in recent decades.

"Over the years, there have always been opportunities to communicate, compare notes and support each other," Hargett said. "The MOU provides a road map for continuing to pursue opportunities that bring mutual benefits."

Those opportunities include coordination in strategic planning, marketing and promotion, lead generation, client development and project management, the release said.

"At the same time, the agreement doesn't interfere with either of us pursuing certain opportunities alone or with other partners when that route makes better sense," Hargett said.
The MOU does not call on either party to commit funds or staff resources to the partnership.

"We've partnered together in the past on projects, but this is the first time we've written up the expectations both sides share," said Scott Satterfield, CEO of WBD, in the release.

Join The Discussion

Similar Stories

Ico insights



Guidelines For Tax Records Retention

Chad Wouters - Earney & Company, LLP

Collaboration: Strength In A Diverse Workplace

Diane Durance - UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Geofflosee300x300 10221511305

Thank A Merchant Mariner

Geoffrey Losee - Rountree Losee LLP

Book On Business


The 2017 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!
Print Only
$24.95 - Qty
Print + Excel File
$79.95 - Qty

In The Current Issue

Jobs 101: Higher Ed's Future Focus

This month, thousands of students are coming back for their fall semesters at Wilmington’s higher education institutions, which are considered key pieces of the area’s economic development puzzle. In deciding which areas to expand into, higher education officials have to keep an eye on future employment trends, for both students and the region.

First Citizens Moves Ahead With Acquisition Effort

Following the rebuff of its initial proposal to acquire KS Bancorp, Raleigh-based First Citizens Bancshares has upped its offer and announce...

Building Around Shipping Containers

As the regeneration of shipping containers accelerates globally, the Port City is about to enter the fray of using them for housing and offi...

Ico topnews Editor's Picks

For Soccer Fields, City Kicks Around Options, Including Echo Farms

Cece Nunn - Aug 18, 2017

With Revised Agreement, Water Street Deck Demolition Process Could Start Next Month

Cece Nunn - Aug 18, 2017

Midtown Business Expands With Julia's Events

Cece Nunn - Aug 17, 2017 Trending News

State Reports Annual Visitor Spending Amounts For Region

Christina Haley O'Neal - Aug 17, 2017
Non Profit

United Way of the Cape Fear

United Way is working alongside local agencies in order to assist them in providing substantial and sustainable change within the Cape Fear Area. Live United!

Ico trending Trending News

Ico newsinimages News in Pictures

Have a tip, pitch or guest column?  Send us a tip.

Gallery Galleries

Video Videos

Power Breakfast: Coach C.B. McGrath - June 2017
Wilmington's Most Intriguing People of 2016

Register to Continue Seeing Wilmington's Best Business Coverage!

There are three ways to register for free.

Sign in with LinkedIn, Facebook or create an account:

Already registered? Login here.

Your free registration includes:

  • Access to 10 articles per month on WilmingtonBiz.com
  • Email updates to stay informed on local business news
  • A mobile optimized website
  • Advanced notification of Business Journal events
  • Management of your digital and print subscriptions
Laptop iphone ipad