A win-win situation

Published 6:40 pm Sunday, April 20, 2008

By Staff
Things are looking up in Hyde County.
Recently, the county’s troubled fishing industry received help in the form of a $2 million appropriation from the Waterfront Access and Marine Industry Fund. The county was one of 13 recipients to receive money from the $20 million fund.
The fund was established by the N.C. General Assembly based on recommendations from the Waterfront Access Study Committee. That committee found rapid development in coastal counties has caused the loss of public waterfront access and has dealt a blow to the state’s traditional maritime industries, particularly commercial fishing.
That was an excellent move by the General Assembly. It will be money well-spent because that money will be helping commercial fishermen who have an important role in North Carolina’s history, especially in the state’s coastal areas.
The money coming to Hyde County’s fishing industry is needed.
Hyde County’s projects call for spending $620,000 to purchase two acres for a waterfront access facility at Fisherman’s Wharf in Swan Quarter; $1 million to develop and expand the Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park near Engelhard and $260,000 to purchase Cahoon Seafood.
Hyde County officials know just how important the $2 million appropriation is to their county.
On April 1, the Hyde Davis Business Enterprise Center reopened after five months of renovation work. The renovated building consists of six large classrooms. With funding from a North Carolina Chamber of Commerce Community Development Block Grant, renovations were done to the classrooms — considered too spacious for small businesses.
The center serves as an incubator, helping small businesses develop, it is hoped, to the point they need to move to larger locations.
Another room has been remodeled into a call center and computer lab. The call center and lab provide other opportunities for Hyde County residents.
The center also helps small businesses with organizational aspects of running a company, such as bookkeeping, budgeting and writing a business plan. Service equipment provided for local businesses at the building include copy and fax machines.
The center also offers high-speed public Internet access. The building has two public access computers in the computer lab and a North Carolina JobLink computer.
The center helps Hyde County residents become better prepared to enter the job market and find jobs.
The center also offers training opportunities in basic and advanced computer skills. Training classes are held at the center in partnership with Beaufort County Community College. The cost for these classes has been subsidized with funding from the Duke Endowment’s Program for the Rural Carolinas. The center offers help with writing resumes and preparing for job interviews.
The money spent on renovating the center is more than an investment in bricks and mortar; it is an investment in the future of Hyde County and its residents. The money being spent to help the county’s fishing industry will help that industry have a future while saving part of the state’s history.
It’s a win-win situation for Hyde County … and the state.