MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – With its gorgeous views and sandy beaches, Carteret County practically sells itself, but when it comes to attracting new business to the Crystal Coast, Greg Lewis, interim director for the Carteret Economic Development Council, wants to make sure it’s about more than just a week at the beach.
“I think it’s good to have a balanced economy here,” Lewis said. “Because when one industry has a downturn it doesn’t affect the whole county. And we do have a wide industry from tourism to military-related, to commercial fishing (and) boat building.
The county’s proximity to the water has attracted a number of marine-related businesses. Chris Freeman is the president of Geodynamics, a company that focuses on coastal mapping for many clients, including the federal government. He said running his business out of Carteret County was a no brainer.
“We’ve been in the area for about 15 years and have seen quite a bit of changes,” Freeman said. “In fact, I was up here as an undergrad in 1994 and the changes have been amazing and good. It’s been a great community for us. Everyone supports us. Our kids are in school here. Our employees own houses here and love to live here and recreate here.”
It is those amenities that Lewis and the Carteret EDC hope will entice others to bring their business to the Crystal Coast.
“We have to sell what we have,” said Lewis. “We have this wonderful place to live as far as the community, the people in the community and the education system.”
Still, Lewis said the county needs to stay one step ahead and make sure the needed infrastructure is in place to make the area even more enticing for businesses.
“We want to be prepared as more people want to come and relocate here to already have an inventory of sites suited for what they need, so we can show them what we have (and) hopefully be able to sway them with what’s around us,” Lewis said.