Officials, Business Owners Talk Tourism

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NC Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker spoke with elected officials and business owners Wednesday at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville.

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – NC Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker spoke with elected officials and business owners Wednesday at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville.

One of those ideas centers around attracting tourists who drive through Columbus County to beaches in South Carolina.

"We're working on a major branding initiative for the state of North Carolina. We actually just launched a new website called www.visitnc.com," said Decker. "I hope you check it out. It's a great way to see all the options in North Carolina. We're going to do a lot of promotion. Encouraging folks to not only visit here, but live here and play here."

She also touched on state officials taking away the tier system for funding job incentives. Leaders in rural counties like Columbus believe they will lose more business to larger counties.  "We will continue to use a tier system for evaluation of grants and economic activity in the state. So that we're not competing one with the other. But we're allocating funds appropriately to help the rural part of the state," said Decker.

Improving productivity at the state ports in Wilmington and Morehead City was also mentioned.  "We'll continue to look at ways to grow those ports and develop them in ways more products can go through there. One of the things we're doing is we're working with more companies in the state, exporting what they're making,' added Decker.

Commerce Secretary Decker also says, she wants to embrace agriculture. According to Decker  it's going to be important to be involved in the bio-technology business.

 
by Gavin Johnson, WECT