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2021 Goals: New Year's Outlook In Their Own Words

By Staff Reports, posted Jan 8, 2021
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 2021.
Here are excerpts of some of their reports, in their own words.

Wilmington Business Development

Top Official: Scott Satterfield, CEO
2021 Goals 
• Promote: “WBD will actively engage in ally, investor and partnership development, out¬reach 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.”

Wilmington Downtown Inc.

Top Official: Holly Childs, president and CEO
2021 Goals
• Continue to refine MSD operations to better serve all downtown constituency groups
• Launch microloan program to assist small businesses in downtown
• Identify and spearhead key economic downtown development projects in collaboration with the city of Wilmington and New Hanover County
• Build closer ties with affiliate groups such as Wilmington Business Development, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Wilmington International Airport and other such organizations.

Brunswick County Economic Development

Top Official: Bill Early, executive director
2021 Goals
• Complete water extensions to Mid-Atlantic Industrial Rail Park and International Logistics Park
• Finish International Commerce Center [second-quarter target for finishing the spec building’s shell] and pursue a second one
• Initiate new digital-marketing campaign

North Carolina’s Southeast

Top Official: Steve Yost, president
2021 Goals
Continue implementation of 2021- 24 strategic marketing plan:
• Support the creation of 1,350 new jobs through marketing strategies and engagement
• Support the creation of $270 million in private investment through marketing strategies and engagement
• Encourage 18 company locations to the region through marketing strategies and engagement

Wilmington Chamber of Commerce

Top Official: Natalie English, president and CEO
2021 Goals
• Continue work in developing talent pipelines to fill jobs in the area’s rapidly growing industries.
• Advocate for business through the COVID-19 pandemic
• Work on economic recovery initiatives targeted for business owners and employees
• Educate and advocate for the business community in the upcoming municipal elections
• Advocate for the return of Brunswick County into the Wilmington MSA
• Facilitate regional efforts to affect transportation funding and construction

University of North Carolina Wilmington

Top Official: Jose Sartarelli, chancellor
2021 Goals
• Continue to implement and enhance health and safety protocols to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines.
• Continue to collaborate with students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community to develop and implement strategies to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, including an effective system of accountability
• Continue to support and enhance the mission, vision and values outlined in the UNCW Strategic Plan
• Build upon R2 designation through enhanced research activities across campus, including an increase in the number and type of research/scholarship doctoral degrees awarded
• Enhance scholarships, professorships, research opportunities, academic support services and other efforts to recruit and retain high-quality students and faculty; build on the philanthropic momentum by launching the public phase of the university’s comprehensive campaign
• Complete construction of the Student Housing Village, film studies studio, coastal engineering lab and renovations to Congdon Hall

Cape Fear Community College

Top Official: Jim Morton, president
2021 Goals
• 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 offer customized training programs
• Continue to enhance online educational opportunities for post-secondary degrees and economic development
• Increase recruiting efforts for minority and underserved populations
• Launch an advertising and graphic design associate degree program
• CFCC’s Economic and Workforce Development division will introduce several new programs, including local government finance, advanced Yamaha Outboard Motors, introduction to historic construction and advanced motorcycle maintenance

Wilmington International Airport (ILM)

Top Official: Julie Wilsey, airport director
2021 Goals
• Open the expanded gate area for December 2021
• Open new concession and amenities in the terminal
• Continue the terminal expansion contract 3 (final completion by 2023)
• Focus on target destinations for new nonstop service, which includes Boston, Newark and south Florida
• Attract a value airline to support inbound tourism
• Attract a hotel or warehouse development in the ILM Business Park
• Recruit a corporate tenant for the South Ramp redevelopment
• Improve wayfinding on airport roadways (delayed in 2020 due to COVID-19 budget reductions)

Port of Wilmington

Top Official: Brian Clark, executive director
2021 Goals
• Improving international supply chain options to the business community
• Make a long-term commitment to port customers by pushing forward with NC Ports’ infrastructure investment plan
• Aggressively work with economic development organizations throughout the state to attract new business to the region
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