New survey reveals local business landscape

Published 11:45 am Friday, May 10, 2024

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The Washington-based Pamlico Business Resource Center recently surveyed over three hundred small business owners in Washington and Beaufort County, NC. The purpose of the survey was to gain insight into the local business community’s current challenges, growth prospects, and support needs.

Survey responses revealed a varied landscape of small businesses, with retail, hospitality, food, and professional services leading the way.  Despite this diversity, many companies, especially newer ones, report struggling to achieve significant growth. With 35% or more of these businesses having operated for under three years, this indicates a lively but potentially unstable entrepreneurial environment in Beaufort County since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local businesses reported facing various challenges, the most significant of which is recruiting and retaining a skilled and trained workforce. High operating costs, regulatory barriers, and competition from larger and online businesses further compound these issues. The lasting impacts of the pandemic, including changes in customer demand and disruptions in the supply chain, continue to affect small business operations.

Despite these challenges, the local business community expressed strong optimism about the future. Many business owners voiced confidence in the local economy’s potential for growth, which again highlights the community’s resilience and entrepreneurial spirit the Pamlico Business Resource Center has spotlighted before.

“Looking ahead, local small business owners expressed the need for tailored business support that addresses their businesses’ needs. including digital marketing strategies, operational efficiency improvement, leadership development, and access to affordable marketing and advertising to enhance visibility and competitiveness and boost sales and customer acquisition.

Proactive business owners showed a growing interest in the importance of engagement with the broader business community, including the need for strategic partnerships and networking. They see these connections as essential for accessing valuable resources and opportunities and leveraging community resources effectively to address their identified needs.”

In summary, the survey highlights the resilience and dynamism of the local small business community despite its challenges. By working together and effectively leveraging available business support resources, like the Pamlico Business Resource Center, local small business owners will pave the way for sustained growth and prosperity in the evolving business landscape of Washington and Beaufort County.

For more information, contact Keith Hudson at

About the Pamlico Business Resource Center: The Pamlico Business Resource Center is dedicated to supporting local businesses and fostering economic growth in the Washington area. The center provides valuable resources and assistance to entrepreneurs and business owners at no charge to the business owner.