Wilmingtonbiz logo

Brunswick’s Again Changes On Economic Development

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Jul 28, 2017
A new model for Brunswick County’s economic development functions is taking shape.

With approval July 10 by the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners, those functions, now handled from within the county, will be transferred over to a new private-public structure.

The Brunswick County Economic Development Foundation, a nonprofit that has been an outside partner in efforts for several years, will serve as the lead to oversee the transition.

Brunswick County’s economic development efforts switched from private to public two years ago, but county officials now decided to go back to moving it out of the county’s department.

In the summer of 2015, Brunswick County commissioners voted to create a county Economic Development Department rather than continuing to provide funding and support two separate legal entities to do the job. The change came after questions arose about how the two prior organizations had used funds between 2009 and 2014.

The new structure will be made up of staff from either the county or the nonprofit, a new executive director and a 16-member member board, including the county commissioners’ chair and vice chair, the county manager, five appointees (one from each of the commissioner’s districts) and eight representatives from the professional, industrial and service sectors, according to county documents.

There is no timeline on the transfer or what the new economic development organization will be named, said Mike Hargett, currently the county’s economic development and planning director. That call is set to be determined by the foundation.

Hargett said the current structure has “worked well,” but the new setup will have its advantages.

“It’s a little more nimble, more flexible than being under the public banner,” he said.

One of the first tasks at hand is to form the board, develop a strategic plan and find an executive director, Hargett said. The board of commissioners could make appointments next month.

But the director search will take longer and could take place “statewide and beyond,” he said.

Join The Discussion

Similar Stories

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

Companies Demo At The Recent CED Tech Venture

Three local companies were featured at this year’s CED Tech Venture Conference, held this month in Raleigh.

NC 100 Initiative Targets Regional Economies

Business recruiters with the state are meeting with local and regional economic developers in an initiative intended to size up regional ass...

Homegrown T-shirts Wear Well Nationally

Who knew that a cat’s backside would strike a chord? The T-shirt design’s popularity has been a surprise to Leland resident Horace Long, own...

Ico topnews Editor's Picks

Jobs, Investment On The Rise Since 2012 In New Hanover County, Report Says

Christina Haley O'Neal - Sep 22, 2017

Session Seeks Workforce Training Input From Construction Employers

Cece Nunn - Sep 22, 2017

As One Gets Ready To Close, Other Area Golf Courses For Sale

Cece Nunn - Sep 21, 2017 Trending News

Gov. Cooper Vetos Bill That Includes Funding On GenX

Christina Haley O'Neal - Sep 21, 2017

Gierie Orthodontics

At Gierie Orthodontics our passion is creating beautiful smiles. Dr. Bill Gierie is committed to maximizing your aesthetic potential through enhancing the appearance of the teeth and face. We strive t ...more

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