Economic and Business Development


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To cultivate and foster the development of a vibrant city that has a strong, diverse and viable local economy for Fayetteville's residents, businesses and visitors. The City of Fayetteville recognized that Economic Development at its core is about building, enhancing and sustaining a community which values and invests in its human, physical, cultural, social and financial capital. The mission of Economic and Business Development is attracting and supporting private investments; increasing employment opportunities; wages and personal income and supporting existing as well as attracting new high quality retail, commercial and industrial enterprises throughout the City, with a particular emphasis on redeveloping under performing corridors and catalyst sites. To do so, we must further expand our local incentives portfolio, assist a diversity of business interests with a wide range of needs, and continue to work with our partners in order to bring about a higher level of prosperity, job growth and expanded economic and entrepreneurial development opportunities throughout the City of Fayetteville. 

Key Activities and Objectives

  • To forge, support and maintain public and private partnerships that serve to assist or induce private sector investments and job creating activities;
  • Identify and provide support, tools and strategies to assist businesses, entrepreneurs, developers and investors in starting or growing a business in Fayetteville
  • Market Fayetteville as a place that encourages and supports business investment, growth, retention and expansion;
  • Serve as a point of contact and clearinghouse for information relating to business development and economic growth in the City of Fayetteville;
  • Advocate and support policies, processes and strategies that serve and support the selection of Fayetteville and the greater Fayetteville area as a preferred location for living and doing business
  • Create, administer/facilitate and pro-actively support programs designed to enhance and expand access for local and micro-enterprise businesses to the City’s procurement of goods and services, and the contracting of construction and engineering opportunities with particular emphasis on local small disadvantaged minority business enterprises [LSDMBE] which includes both minority and veteran-owned businesses;
  • Provide leadership and coordinate efforts in the development and/or redevelopment of targeted, high-impact, “catalyst-type” projects, as well as the adaptive re-use and redevelopment challenges of under-performing commercial sites or corridors;
  • Support existing and new businesses wanting to expand or grow in the City by offering assistance and guidance with our regulatory processes
  • Attract new commercial and retail enterprises to the City, especially along targeted corridors
  • Initiate and support redevelopment opportunities along the under-performing corridors and catalyst sites
  • Work collaboratively with our local, state and national partners to bring about financial incentives and help advance Fayetteville as a city that is open for and supportive of business and industry
  • Market the opportunities and resources that are available to assist entrepreneurs and businesses with startup, retention and expansion efforts
  • Expand the City's portfolio of financial offerings including local incentive programs


The EBD Program Outreach seeks to - 

  • Create an entrepreneurial environment that supports the local economy
  • Market the City of Fayetteville’s services to both its internal and external customers
  • Support the growth and diversity of the City of Fayetteville’s economy
  • Create a “One-Stop” or “No Wrong Door” Approach to the economic and business development services offered by the City of Fayetteville

Programs carried out include but are not limited to the following: 

  1. Commercial & Corridor Redevelopment
  2. Public Access to Commercial Sites and Buildings
  3. Information to Business and Contract Opportunities for local small disadvantaged business enterprises [LSDBE] and Minority Business Enterprise [MBE]
  4. Business Development Creation, Retention and Expansion
  5. Entrepreneurial Development and Support including  tutorial engagements, seminars and forums
  6. Local Incentive Programs that include Investment and Loan Program Portfolios
  7. State and local economic and business development programs

Commercial and Corridor Redevelopment

The City and its Economic Development staff seeks to creatively stimulate the community’s distressed and under-performing commercial corridors and effected neighborhoods through multiple programs designed to support job creation efforts and entrepreneurship development.  In addition, the City pursues land assembly, blight removal, and coordinated planning efforts to focus redevelopment resources on so-called “catalyst” sites, wherein the City targets its limited resources in ways designed to achieve the greatest possible multiplier effort for development and investment “spin-off”.  Fayetteville’s vibrant and historic destination Downtown serves as the arts, entertainment and cultural hub for the entire region. Now undergoing an even more-pronounced renaissance, the Downtown commercial core is in the midst of a massive new infusion of investment in mixed-use residential, retail and lodging construction as a result of a new minor league baseball stadium and support infrastructure.  For additional information on any of the City’s economic development projects and opportunities, and for a greater area profile click here

Commercial Sites and Buildings - Public Access

Where access on up-to-dated real-time information on available retail, commercial, and industrial sites for lease, purchase or development investment in the Fayetteville market.  Information is available through user option or from the support of staff in the Economic and Business Development. Click here

Vendor Business and Contract Opportunities

The City of Fayetteville is committed to a proactive program of making all of its internal purchases of goods and services, as well as the contracting for construction, engineering, and professional services accessible to all potential vendors and providers, with an emphasis on encouraging the greatest participation possible from local providers. The City has available a Local Small Disadvantaged Business Enterprise [LSDBE] program within the City of Fayetteville’s Purchasing Department, designed to encourage, educate and support local, small, disadvantaged enterprise as well as  veteran-owned businesses to take advantage of City purchasing and contracting opportunities. LSDBE Vendor Application is available here

Business Development Creation, Retention and Expansion

Trends today, indicate that many of cities are faced with declining household incomes, increasingly unequal distribution, high levels of underemployment, and concentrated poverty. The City of Fayetteville’s economic development goals is focused on the creation of new jobs, higher income, increased tax revenues, greater wealth and a higher standard of living for residents in the City of Fayetteville, requires new strategies and a variety of tools.  We look to find ways to stimulate private investment and encourage and support entrepreneurial growth through business retention and expansion efforts as well as adaptive re-use, and redevelopment efforts that will assist  businesses and entrepreneurs to create, retain and expand in Fayetteville. 

Entrepreneurial Support along with Education and Training Programs and Economic and Business Development Forums

Entrepreneurial education and training programs are held quarterly through the Economic and Business Development Program to provide instruction on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship access to capital, grants and other loan programs and on additional state and federal lending resources such as the U. S. Small Business Administration and the Carolina Small Business Development Fund (formerly the Support Center of North Carolina)

Introductory entrepreneurial courses are also offered to entrepreneurs by our community resource partners that include the Center for Economic Empowerment Development [CEED], Fayetteville Technical Community College and Fayetteville State University.  Information on these quarterly entrepreneurial education and training programs can be found on - Face Book EBD page here.

In addition to these quarterly education and training program, an Annual Economic and Business Development Forum is held in partnership with Fayetteville State University.  The Forum is held on the campus of Fayetteville State University – [Rudolph Jones Student Center Building].  Participants in the forum include vendors/exhibitors comprises both federal, state and government agencies to provide information on services and programs to assist businesses and entrepreneurs grow and expand their businesses.  The Forum is free to participants and provides significant to market and network opportunities for these businesses.  Click here

Local Investment and Loan Program Portfolios

Under its Community Development Program the City of Fayetteville's vision includes a vibrant downtown core and a strong local economy. These activities focus on business development, through start-ups, expansion and economic gardening. 

 The five core goals of the Community Investment Program are:  recruit and develop local businesses; attract businesses to the downtown plan area and redevelopment plan areas; retain local businesses in the downtown plan area and redevelopment plan areas; Support economic development activities that create jobs and expand the City's tax base; and identify redevelopment projects that will eliminate blighted commercial properties within the Murchison Road, HOPE VI, Fayetteville Renaissance Plan and other redevelopment areas.

 To support these core goals, the Community Development Department administers four (4) primary programs to assist small businesses under its loans and grants program.  There is a checklist of required documents and program forms that must accompany the completed application for review by the loan or grant committee.  Non-profit organizations are not eligible to apply under this program.   The programs -

  • Business Assistance Loan Program
  • Facade Improvement Grant Program
  • Small Business Development Grant Program
  • Small Business Retention Grant Program
  • Redevelopment Funds Loan

For more information of the City’s portfolio on Loan Investment and Loan Program – City of Fayetteville Community Development Department. Michelle Haire, Economic Development Administrator, Community Development Department at 910-433-1590, is available to provide direct request for assistance.


The City seeks to create targeted Economic Incentive Programs and other innovative effort designed to create, retain and expand jobs that will result in increased job opportunities as well as an increase in wages and personal income.  In doing so, our approach will include -

  • Collaboration – building connections within key industry clusters and between firms and supporting organizations;
  • Cultivating Creativity and Talent- fostering an environment that is conducive to creative ideas (innovation), people and enterprises, increasing the pool of knowledge workers, preparing people for community leadership;
  • Economic Gardening – cultivating local entrepreneurs and small firms and creating an environment that supports their growth;
  • Place-based  Development – capitalizes on the distinctive and special characteristics of the City of Fayetteville, its natural environment, cultural heritage and tradition;
  • Green Development – to encourage activities and projects that are environmentally sustainable, such as energy efficient building construction, waste recycling, property reuse, and conservation;
  • Redevelopment of functionally obsolete property or economically distressed and challenged areas of the community;
  • Diversification of the economic base of the community that will improve its stability and enhance sustainability over time.

Other City Departments - [Resources available-EBD]

The following City departments also provides directly or indirectly Economic and Business Development resources that creates a "No Wrong Door" Approach to City Resources - 

Public and Private Sector Partners

The success and growth of a community’s economy is based on the shared collaborative effort borne out by the combined efforts of public and private sector partners.  The following economic and business development organizations are resource providers who share the City’s interest.

  • Fayetteville Cumberland Economic Development Corporation (FCEDC) – Is a full service economic development organization that is operated by a highly specialized and qualified staff with years of experience in the field.   They provide the community with the economic and advocacy support needed to create, address and implement the economic development needs of the community, and region as a whole.  Information and assistance from FCEDC is available here.
  • Downtown Alliance - The Downtown Alliance is a not-for-profit advocacy organization leading the efforts to strengthen the core of the city through recruitment and support of downtown businesses, as well as in creating and fostering developments and special events that help to build the downtown into a place-based city.  Information and assistance from the Downtown Alliance is available here.
  • Center for Economic Empowerment & Development (CEED):  Formerly known as the Women’s Center of Fayetteville is a non-profit organization with programs that includes the Women’s Business Center, New Choices Program and the Lease to Home Program.  All the programs within CEED serve as a regional resource and advocacy center for individuals and families, enabling restoration of personal dignity through economic empowerment and development.  Information and assistance for CEED’s programs is available here.
  • The Support Center of North Carolina: Provides small business loans and technical assistance to start-ups and existing businesses in underserved markets.  As a statewide nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution [CDFI] its mission is to foster economic development in underserved communities by providing capital, business services, and policy research to support small businesses.  Information and assistance for the Support Center of North Carolina is available here.
  • United States Small Business Administration [SBA]: The SBA and the City of Fayetteville Economic and Business Development Department have implemented a Strategic Alliance Memorandum [SAM] Agreement to strengthen and expand small business development in the local area through its programs and services. Information for the SBA is available here. 

Other Economic and Business Development Resources

Within the Fayetteville area there are various organizations, both public and private and offers an array of information, education and support to economic and business development and growth of our community.  Among these support services are:

  • Fayetteville PWC -  Click Here
  • Greater Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce -  Here
  • Small Business Technology Development Center [Fayetteville State University]–Here
  • Veterans Business Outreach Center [Fayetteville State University] –Here
  • VETS Funding [ Fayetteville State University] - Here
  • EDA University Center – Defense, Agriculture, Energy [Fayetteville State University] - Here
  • NC Military Business Center [Fayetteville Technical Community College] -Here
  • NC Procurement Technical Assistance Center - Here
  • Workforce Development Services [ResCare Workforce Services] –Here
  • North Carolina Technology Development Authority -   Here
  • State of North Carolina -Here
  • North Carolina Department of Commerce - Here
  • U. S. Small Business Administration –  Here
  • Southeastern Economic Development Commission -  Here
  • Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau -  Here
  • North Carolina Department of Commerce -  Here
  • Federal Tax InformationHere

Other Resources in Education and Workforce Development

  • Fayetteville State University [FSU]  -Here
  • Methodist University [MU]  Entrepreneurship Program -Here
  • Fayetteville Technical Community College [FTCC] -  Here
  • Cumberland County Workforce Development Center - Here

Fayetteville-Community Profile

Home of one the world’s largest military population, and centrally located between Miami and New York City on the I-95 corridor.  Fayetteville is also centrally located in the State of North Carolina, between the Mountains and the Coastal Carolinas.  The weather is seasonal with pleasant spring and fall weather, short and mild winters that comes along with hot summers.




Fayetteville’s educational environment - schools and universities make Fayetteville a great place to live and raise a family starting with our elementary on to the university level.  There are:

  • 52 - Elementary schools
  • 18 - Middle schools
  •   2 - Charter schools
  • 17 - High schools
  • 20 -  Private schools

Housing in Fayetteville is among the Nation’s 3rd most affordable housing markets, with average home sales at $130,875. It is one of only 84 markets in the United States where the average home price is under $200,000.

Fayetteville’s workforce is greater in health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services, retail trade and educational services, with access to affordable and distance learning as well as community colleges and universities, there is increased growth in the workforce in the science and technology industries.

A city with a very diverse population there are approximately 380,000 residents in addition to a military population of approximately 53,000. It is a virtual melting pot of young educated and cultured professionals.  It has a vibrant downtown where year round events are held to include its Dogwood Festival; North Carolina Field of Honors Day; Fayetteville After 5; International Folks Festival; Blues and Brews and Dickens Holiday. For additional information on the City of Fayetteville “A Great City to Live and to do Business” Click Here

 Dogwood FestivalNC Field of Honors

  Dickens Holiday


 James Palenick, Economic and Business Development Director

James Palenick, Economic and Business Development Director

Monroe, SusanMarketing and Business Development ManagerEconomic & Business Development(910) 433-1321
Palenick, JamesEconomic and Business Development DirectorEconomic & Business Development(910) 433-1304
Rivera, ThaliaAdministrative AssistantEconomic & Business Development(910) 433-1264