Fostering Resilient Places: Sources of Economic Strength in Nonmetropolitan North Carolina – Project Update

About the Author

CED Guest Author

Emil Malizia is a professor and chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill and CCP small-grant recipient working in Lenoir County.

“Fostering Resilient Places: Sources of Economic Strength in Nonmetropolitan North Carolina” is a CCP small-grant funded project that aims to identify community assets and policies contributing to the success of companies in traditional industries in the state, despite a struggling economy and shrinking markets. Over the past several months, I have been trying to identify companies that meet the following criteria: located in a Tier 1 county and part of a traditional industry with emphasis on food, textiles/apparel, and furniture.  To date, I have identified 4-5 companies worth contacting, and  I hope to identify at least 20 more this month.
In addition to this work, I have contacted the directors of the regional partnership directors, the Rural Center and the SBTDC as well as individuals who may have knowledge of prospective companies.  I have been struck by how difficult it has been to find prospects.  I believe this reflects the depth of the recent recession as well as long-term secular decline in these sectors.

I expect to accomplish the following tasks by the end of the month:

  • Follow up the directors of the regional partnerships either to identify specific companies or get contact information on local economic developers worth contacting for this purpose.
  • Follow up with SBTDC to request a listing of prospective companies from the database of about 1,200 NC companies. Find SBTDC staff able to provide additional information on some of these companies.
  • Continue reviewing websites of identified companies.
  • Contact local economic developers to identify additional companies.
  • Begin contacting local economic developers to contact the company and find the person I would interview via telephone (the CEO, CFO or COO).
  • Conduct 1-2 interviews.  My strategy is to limit the telephone time to 20 minutes or less and focus only on the key questions.  I will subsequently send the entire survey as an email attachment or via snail mail and request that the survey be completed and returned.



Leave a Reply

We will read all comments submitted to us, but we will publish only those comments that serve to advance our readers’ understanding of a post and are consistent with our institutional commitment to non-advocacy.

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>