The past year has been more fun than the prior three. It’s been fun because we can so tangibly see and feel the improvements in North Carolina’s economy through the success of our clients. It’s been a tough recovery and has required enormous focus from our staff as we tried to figure out how best to help our clients manage their businesses through the downturn. Most of our clients succeeded, while far too many other North Carolina businesses did not.
We take great pride in the accomplishments and performance of our clients – you’ll see that in the success stories included in this annual report. You’ll also see it in the economic impact results. These most recent numbers include client employment and sales growth at levels not seen since 2007, just prior to the recession.
We as an organization have accomplished a great deal in tough times as well. We’ve enjoyed great support from The University of North Carolina System and the constituent institutions which host our offices. We have had great support and engagement with our North Carolina Department of Commerce, particularly through its Workforce Solutions Division, and we have built a stronger, more collaborative working relationship with the NC Community College System’s Small Business Center Network (SBCN) as a key partner in serving North Carolina businesses.
These recent tough times have somehow made us better. We’ve been more engaged and better connected than ever, and we are now seeing our clients beginning to thrive once again. We applaud them on their success and thank our highly committed staff and partners for all of their tremendous work in support of small to medium-sized businesses in North Carolina.