County, city hear presentation on economic develop strategy

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Last August New Hanover County leaders hired an economic consultant to help the county move in a positive direction.

After hearing the consultant’s presentation today, Commission Chair Woody White says the $100,000 price tag was money well spent.

“Part of the benefit of going through a study like this is knowing those challenges and being able to deal with them,” White said after the presentation from Jay Garner of Garner Economics LLC.

City and county leaders gathered Wednesday to learn how a consultant thinks they can better market and attract new businesses.

Click here to see the full report

“The big question is what are we doing right and what are we doing wrong? What do we need to improve upon?” Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said. “And we need to drill down into those numbers and get an outside third party to give us a thorough evaluation whether we liked it or not.”

The goal of the Garner Report was to help strengthen the economic vitality of New Hanover County. The report encourages free, countywide high-speed internet and puts an emphasis on keeping the state’s film incentives and attracting the aviation industry.

White says the study was worth the money.

“I am pleased with the process, and because it was premised on the notion of engaging citizen input, having everyone come to the table to have a stake and a say in what the future community will look like,” he said.

White says this is the first time the county and the city have engaged in a comprehensive study like this.

“Making sure that we are making the right choices as elected officials,” White said. “You don’t want to be in the guessing game as elected officials.”

City and county leaders say the next step is to work on starting a dialogue between both administrations to make changes for the growth of our area.

Categories: New Hanover