Open for business, but not business as usual

Published 12:21 pm Saturday, December 5, 2020

By Sarah Bernart, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina

Although many North Carolina employers are back in business during the pandemic, it’s far from normal. And it won’t be for some time.

As the regional manager of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) living and working in Northeastern North Carolina, I understand your challenges. I’ve personally toured your plants and met with their leadership to clear barriers to growth. Over the past nine months, I’ve seen firsthand their resilience in the face of great adversity.

From shutdowns to new regulations and supply chain disruptions, businesses have been forced to navigate unique economic challenges of the “new normal.” And they’ve risen to the occasion.

But they’re not alone. During economic disasters, including hurricanes and now a global pandemic, EDPNC helps North Carolina businesses survive the challenging times and thrive beyond them. We provide free services to connect businesses of all sizes with resources needed to navigate the good times and the bad.

EDPNC has helped businesses in northeastern North Carolina, including Pamlico Air, Pamlico Yachtworks and InterMarket Technology here in Beaufort County, launch expansions by connecting them to grant and workforce development resources, and we’ve helped local manufacturers increase exports and enter new international markets. The EDPNC also recruits new corporate facilities to the state.

We’ve even served as a clearinghouse of timely information for businesses, helping them navigate a variety of COVID-19 relief grant and loan programs and referring them to databases of potential new partners when their supply chains have been disrupted.

EDPNC wants to help your business be part of North Carolina’s economic recovery. Partner with us, and together, we can move onward as one.

Sarah Bernart is an Existing Industry Expansions Manager in the Northeast Prosperity Zone for the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.  She is a Washington resident and can be reached at and 252-343-2653.