The city of Hertford is one of 16 communities in the state that the North Carolina Department of Commerce has added to its Economic Recovery and Community Resilience initiative.
The Commerce Ministry announced last week that 16 more communities are being helped in their economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The newly selected CERRI communities are distributed in the prosperity zones of the state. The Town of Hertford as well as the City of Hamilton in Martin County have been nominated as participants in the North East Prosperity Zone.
Hertford Mayor Earnell Brown said the town has already applied for grants to help with economic and community development as it begins to implement the Riverfront and community development plan. The new designation of the city is good news, she said.
Brown also stressed that the plan aims to improve the quality of life for all residents of Hertford.
“This plan is for all of Hertford, not just the waterfront,” Brown said. “We want to improve economic opportunities for everyone at Hertford.”
Governor Roy Cooper announced the launch of CERRI with eight communities earlier this year to help small towns and rural communities recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to prepare local economies to be more resilient to the future crises. Administered by the Department of Commerce’s Rural Planning Program, CERRI provides a structured planning process for communities to develop local economic recovery strategies and offers technical services for implementation.
“CERRI’s initial pilot project turned out to be a great improvement in the economic recovery of small towns and rural communities in North Carolina,” said Secretary of Commerce Machelle Baker Sanders. “Increasing the capacity of our local governments also supports the small business communities that are essential to fueling strong local economies. “
The initiative focuses on two components: community economic resilience and support for small businesses. Additional services include analysis of current economic conditions and future opportunities, training and capacity building, formulation of implementation strategies, and assistance in project development and implementation.
“We are excited to help a second round of communities develop plans to improve their economies,” said Kenny Flowers, assistant secretary of the rural economic development division of NC Commerce. “We look forward to helping them execute their growth strategies through service at the community level. “