Economic Development Reports

Through the leadership of the Board of Commissioners, New Hanover County works closely with a variety of community and economic development partners to help create an environment that stimulates balanced growth through job creation, business assistance, housing options, and the development of a skilled workforce. The county is committed to strengthening and diversifying the local economy to provide access and opportunities for all businesses and citizens.

In 2014, New Hanover County commissioned an economic development strategy entitled the Pathways To Prosperity Report by Jay Garner, which provided a road map to help New Hanover County strengthen the local business climate and assist in increasing the county’s economic competitiveness. Many of the recommendations outlined in the report have been implemented or are underway; and in 2021, the Board of Commissioners authorized an update to the report, given the many changes that have occurred since the initial report was developed. The updated Economic Mobility Report by Greenfield, completed in 2022, provides an overview of progress that has been made, current demographics and workforce data, important county assets, key findings, and an overview of the primary and emerging target sectors in New Hanover County. 

2022 Economic Mobility Report

In 2021, the county contracted with local economic development firm Greenfield, led by Robin Spinks and Mary Lilley, to update its economic development analysis and plan. The Economic Mobility Report was completed in April 2022, and provides updates on the county’s demographics and workforce data, shares important county assets and business growth, and outlines key findings regarding the economy, population, work disruptions, and land development. The report also outlines six primary target sectors: existing business expansions, warehouse and logistics, life science manufacturing/pharmaceuticals, technology companies, offshore wind, and the film industry, as well as additional emerging sectors for New Hanover County.

The report and a summary are available for download:

2014 Pathways to Prosperity Report

In 2014, New Hanover County received the economic development target analysis report from Jay Garner titled Pathways to Prosperity: New Hanover County’s Plan for Jobs and Investment and its a critical companion piece, the Competitive Realties Report.

The documents are available for download:

Watch the presentation of the Garner Report.