• Broadband, entrepreneurs, faith: What would it take for rural NC to regain population?
    Much of southeastern North Carolina saw a drop in population over the last decade. What does that mean, and how can the area bounce back? Read more
  • Could the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport become a regional business hub in NC? Leaders hope so
    By Sarah Nagem As the United States ramped up its World War II efforts in the early 1940s, Fort Bragg grew to become the largest Army post in the country, accommodating 60,000 soldiers.  But lesser-known military training was taking place about 40 miles southwest of Fort Bragg, at what is now the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport. Up to 10,000 soldiers were stationed at the site, which …Read more
  • Welcome to southeastern North Carolina. Good luck finding a place to live
    Phillip Britt can barely keep up with everyone who wants to move to Robeson County.  Before the coronavirus pandemic, buyers had plenty of options, with about 400 homes for sale in the county at any given time, according to Britt, a Realtor. For the past several months, he said, the number has been more like 60 or 65.  Yes, the housing boom is indeed booming …Read more
  • Scotland County, halfway between Charlotte and the NC coast, looks to distribution
    In the five years that Mark Ward has served as Scotland County’s economic development director, he’s seen an increase in companies interested in the area.  “We’ve had announcements every year since we’ve been here, whether it’s an expansion or a new company,” Ward said. “We know that our growth is going to come from within.” Scotland County is home to several companies that manufacture automotive …Read more
  • Howard: Internet access a barrier for Columbus development
    This is the second installment of a series about economic development in the Border Belt, which encompasses Bladen, Columbus, Robeson and Scotland counties.  For years, Jeff Howard watched eastern Columbus County struggle to create opportunities for people because of poor internet access. The pandemic has made it even worse.  “When you go from just a few people needing internet access to everyone needing it, that’s …Read more