Economic Development Quarterly

The Economic Development Quarterly is a communication produced by the Harnett County Department of Economic Development and highlights the latest news and updates on economic growth and opportunity in Harnett County.

January 2024

Happy New Year from Harnett County Economic Development!

Our team has hit the ground running in 2024 and we are excited to share more about our plans for the year ahead. In this edition of the Economic Development Quarterly, Stephen Barrington, Director, shares our focus for economic development in Harnett County.

Photo: Newly painted runway at the Harnett Regional Jetport taken by Greg Frank, HRJ Director.

Harnett County Economic Development's Focus in 2024

Harnett County Economic Development team members are spending the vast majority of our time in three areas:  

  • Existing Business and Industry – Investing time to get to know and support existing companies directly, and/or through partner referrals, is foundational to economic development. This will continue to be an activity in which we are engaged.  

  • Product Development – For the foreseeable future, this will be a leading activity in which we are focused. In this newsletter, we will separately speak to what we mean when we say, "product development."   

  • Business Attraction + Recruitment – We will be embarking on a campaign to showcase Harnett County and our available product. Regional, state, and national players with whom we plan to target include, but not limited to, commercial realtors and industrial brokers, state economic developers, utility allies that court new and expanding companies, corporate real estate professionals, and national site selection consultants that currently do - or plan to do - business in North Carolina, the Southeastern United States, and/or the East Coast.  

We will also encourage start-ups and transformational community projects and connect resource partners with entrepreneurs and project organizers. Lastly, we will intentionally keep up with what other communities across the region are doing, and how we stack up from a competitive standpoint. Ultimately, the market will tell us exactly how we stack up.   

Read more 

Economic Development Highlight

Product Development: What does this mean?

Product development is a leading activity for Harnett County Economic Development. So, what exactly does this mean? In simplest terms, we are referring to real estate – dirt and buildings.

As we focus our efforts in this area, our team will work in multiple subcategories simultaneously, to include:

  1. Site Identification (land)
  2. Site Readiness (think "clean bill of health")
  3. Site Development (goal = quicker to market)
  4. Shell/Spec Building Developments (existing buildings)

Learn more about Harnett County's product development strategy in this blog.

Read more

Engagement Highlights

Harnett County Economic Development understands and values the importance of being connected to our local, regional, and state partners. Here are a few highlights from recent engagements:

European Union Delegation Visit to the Triangle

Stephen Barrington represented Harnett County Economic Development during a European Union led delegation visit to the Triangle region on November 14 and 15, 2023. Hosted by the Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP) and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC), the visit provided delegates from roughly 10 EU countries and trade representatives from their respective embassies in Washington, with the opportunity to learn more about North Carolina as a place to do business.

View a highlight video here.

Harnett County Citizen Information Session

Harnett County Economic Development presented at the October 26, 2023 Harnett County Government Citizen Information Session. This event series provides Harnett County citizens with the chance to learn more about County initiatives, programs, services, and department updates.

View the session online here.

BusinessNC: 2024 N.C. Economic Forecast Roundtable

Members of our team joined Business North Carolina and Campbell University's Lundy-Fetterman School of Business on January 3 for a North Carolina Economic Forecast Roundtable. The event included a panel of experts offering insight on where the North Carolina's economy is headed.

View the Economic Outlook 2024 Highlight video here.

Facts & Figures

Data Source: BusinessNC (2023, September 1). Proven performers: 2023 list of North Carolina’s largest closely held companies. Business North Carolina.

Links of Interest

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Contact Us

Stephen Barrington


Angie Stewart

Economic Developer

Elizabeth Edwards

Marketing Director

Rebecca Parker

Office Coordinator

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Address: 200 Alexander Drive

P.O. Box 1270

Lillington, NC 27546

Phone: (910) 893-7524