Pender County Tourism hosts event to promote business and community
HAMSTEAD, NC (WWAY) – Pender County Tourism hosted an event meant to promote business and community in Hampstead on Tuesday.
The area offers a landscape like no other, according to Pender County Tourism Director Tammy Proctor.
“When COVID hit people came down to get out of the big cities and they didn’t leave, they (new residents) found out what a great place this is to live,” she said. “We have the best of both worlds because we have agriculture and we have beaches.”
The county also has a booming population which is why the Pender County Tourism hosted their 2022 Business Expo – the first in the area in more than a decade.
A former member of the Hampstead Chamber of Commerce and now the owner of Architectural Staircase and Millwork said these types of events are needed to help continue growth.
“Oh, I come to support the local businesses here, I’ve come to see the chamber of commerce, Pender tourism all the local companies here,” said Ron Shirley. ”Because I think it’s been 15-years since we had the last one in the area.”
More than a dozen vendors came out to the event on Tuesday, offering a range of products and services from both the private and government sectors all under one roof.
Owner of Rising Tide Fitness Nicolaas La Monica stopped by to network.
“It’s very important for businesses to network with one another, to help one another out,” said La Monica. “This just kind of event brings everybody together, to get a chance for that.”
The Greater Topsail Chamber of Commerce has seen a 25% growth in memberships, according to Proctor,
Pender County has major grocery and hardware stores but is in need of big-box retail stores.
The county is losing tax dollars to neighboring Onslow and New Hanover counties, which is the reason the area is prime for retail growth, according to Proctor.
“With growth comes population increase, it also brings a stress to our school system,” she said. “It means our roads need to be improved, those are the challenges growth brings.”
So far, Pender Commerce Park has been the biggest contributor to the county’s tax base, according to a county spokeswoman.