WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A recent North Carolina Department of Commerce study shows that Wilmington has the third worst job creation rate in the state of North Carolina, but one area business is helping to buck that trend.
"I used to commute 40 miles to Southport, and the opposite way was 40 miles up to Wallace,” David Samuels said.
Samuels has lived in Wilmington for more than six years and until recently had to commute out of town for work. Shuckin' Shack owner Sean Cook says Samuels was one of many to apply for a spot in their new downtown restaurant.
"I would say we had 300 or 400 apply," Cook said. "It's tough economy right now and I wish we could hire so many more"
The Shuckin' Shack's new downtown location created 12 new jobs in Wilmington, and just like the food they serve Cook says those jobs are staying local.
"We support our local economy," Cook said. "It's something that we are very adamant about."
The locally owned and operated business is expanding into the Port City after years of being a staple on Pleasure Island.
Cook says the work being done in downtown is what caught his eye and that his business could start a trend of positive growth in the area.
"The revitalization downtown had a lot to do with it and there are other great restaurants to be apart of downtown that had so much to do with it," Cook said. "We wanted to stay in the Wilmington community."
"Everyone wants everyone to succeed and we work together as a big family and that's what everyone does downtown already," Samuels said. "Just being down here with the employees and being close to home and close to work is awfully nice."