NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – It’s “Small Business Week” and New Bern is one town where people are taking risks to become their own bosses.
About twenty new businesses have popped up in the downtown area in the past year.
Those who set up shop some time ago say New Bern has a uniqueness about it to help entrepreneurs. The quaint atmosphere attracts numerous tourists to the area every year and small business owners say that’s just what keeps their business thriving.
Downtown New Bern is a place where the feel of a small town merges with the spirit of a big city. It’s home to dozens of privately owned shops, like Carolina Creations, which opened up 25 years ago.
“We’ve been here long enough that we’re part of the fabric of the town,” said Janet Francoeur, owner of Carolina Creations. She said it’s who comes in that keeps her from closing her doors. “You know the people of New Bern have really supported us while we love the tourists, 65 percent of our business is local.”
New small businesses owners in the area credit older businesses for helping their own start-up shops.
“I did my research before we opened and I knew New Bern needed something like this, so this all sort of fell in my lap back in March and it’s been a great experience. Downtown, all the business owners are very supportive,” said Taylor Moricle, owner of Taylor’d For You Boutique.
As a veteran entrepreneur, Franceour offered one piece of advice to those looking to set up shop in eastern North Carolina, “Work really hard, you have to keep your eye on the ball and keep changing with the times.”
Many business owners 9 On Your Side spoke with say right now kicks off the season when they will be busiest.
The New Bern Chamber of Commerce is spending time on social media tweeting out thank yous and trivia, all a part of its recognition of small business week.