Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Growth and demographics are driving businesses to locate in Leland

Leland is growing fast, as many businesses are chasing the potential for growth there. But not every business found Leland to be an ideal location.

Bluestar is now open in Leland. The restaurant is the first brick and mortar location for the owner and chef behind Steviemack’s International Food Truck. (Port City Daily photo |BENJAMIN SCHACHTMAN)
Growth in population has led to the growth of businesses opening in Leland and the town wants to know what it can do to help attract, and retain businesses (Port City Daily photo |BENJAMIN SCHACHTMAN)

LELAND—Leland is growing fast, that much is sure. But what’s bringing new businesses to the area? That’s what the Town of Leland aimed to find out with a recent survey.

More than 40 Leland businesses were surveyed and asked questions regarding their decisions to locate in Leland, their experiences there, and the quality of the workforce in area.

With the rapid growth of Brunswick County, and Leland in particular, 56 percent of businesses decided to locate in Leland due to growth trends followed closely by demographics. Other driving factors included construction costs, taxes, and population.

On the other hand, reasons for locating in Leland did not include proximity to raw materials; less than 3 percent of respondents said labor costs were a driving factor in their decision to open in Leland.

Compared to a similar survey conducted in 2016, when 15 business owners ranked the business climate in Leland as “excellent,” only eight felt the same in 2018. Still, the majority of respondents gave the business climate in Leland a “very good” or “good” score. Only five businesses gave it the ranking of “poor.”

According to one of the respondents, Leland’s attitude towards small business is not as friendly as it is towards major chains.

According to that response:

“Small mom and pop businesses struggle to exist in the current Leland business landscape. Many from Leland have attempted to start small businesses and are met with unnecessary regulations that hinder their ability to have a successful upstart. Franchises have it so easy as they have the funding and backing but the small businesses are the future franchises. Franchises clearly have the support of Leland but what about the little people. Please give the small mom and pop businesses a chance. There are many ways we can help them together and many businesses in Leland will willingly help.”

Other issues raised included permitting and signage regulations.

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