courthouse-clocktowerHere in New Hanover County, the community, elected officials and county staff cooperate to balance a high quality of life with a progressive business and economic climate.

At less than 200 square miles, New Hanover County is the second smallest – geographically – of the 100 North Carolina counties; however, it is home to more than 232,000 people.

New Hanover County is not just a great place in which to live or visit. New Hanover County is also a great place to do business. Tourism, film production, the service and retail sectors are the engines that power our economy.

Our Mission: New Hanover County is committed to progressive public policy, superior service, courteous contact, judicious exercise of authority, and sound fiscal management to meet the needs and concerns of our citizens today and tomorrow.

The government of New Hanover County is committed to ensuring that you are safe, healthy and secure; that is our promise to you.

New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet serves as chief administrator of county government and maintains responsibility for administering all departments under the general control of the five-member Board of Commissioners.

The county manager’s work includes the development of the county’s annual budget. The budget is the policy document, financial plan, and operations guide and communications device of county government. It reflects the county’s response to the needs of the community and residents’ requests for services. New Hanover County’s government is operating on a $399.6 million multi-fund budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2020 and ends June 30, 2021. In addition, the county also administers $294 million in state and federal funding. Through this $693 million, the county serves more than 233,000 residents.

In addition, the manager and his executive leadership team are responsible for aligning the operations of the county to the adopted strategic plan and advancing the county’s mission and vision through five key focus areas: superior education and workforce, superior public health and safety, intelligent growth and economic development, strong financial performance, and effective county management.

Mr. Coudriet has served as the county manager since July 2012. Prior to his appointment, he served as assistant county manager for New Hanover County for four years and as county manager in Franklin and Washington counties, N.C.

Mr. Coudriet has twenty-five years of public administration experience, with fifteen years as a county manager or assistant county manager in North Carolina. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from East Carolina University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

He is a native of eastern North Carolina. Chris and his wife, Leigh, and two children Montgomery and Silas, reside in Wilmington.

New Hanover County has received the final economic development target analysis report from Jay Garner titled Pathways to Prosperity: New Hanover County’s Plan for Jobs and Investment and it’s critical companion piece, the Competitive Realties Report.

Manager's Message

New Hanover County offers expertise and resources for safe reopening

Posted May 20, 2020 at 9:08 am

By County Manager, Chris Coudriet

Since March 21, our community has been operating under a Stay At Home Order and navigating mitigation measures set by either state or local authorities to slow the spread of COVID-19. Residents, businesses and organizations have also implemented guidance to prevent and lessen the impact of the virus in our community.

These mitigation measures have served our community well. Our local healthcare system has not been overrun and the number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 has remained manageable. I commend our residents for heeding guidelines, mitigation measures and recommendations; and I commend our business community for the creativity, innovation and resilience shown during this time of uncertainty. It’s no secret that these measures have, and continue to impact our residents and business community. Some businesses slowed or paused all together, and for others, operations have changed to meet guidelines and demand for service.

And now, businesses are beginning to reopen or adjust operations to a new normal, in keeping with the Governor’s phased plan for reopening. And the question is: How do we reopen safely so people can get back to work and we can begin economic recovery without great risk to the well-being of our community?

The county is helping lead that charge – with our Public Health and Strategy staff offering expertise and resources to businesses, nonprofits, the faith community and other community organizations as they open their doors. This is in addition to our continuous services to licensed and permitted establishments like restaurants, hotels and residential facilities that work with our public health team regularly through standard visits and inspections. Cleanliness and infection control will be a focus of the resources we provide, for day-to-day operations in office environments, retail stores, amusement facilities and others.

Anyone in our community can view Public Health’s guidelines to consider through the reopening process at Health.NHCgov.com/Coronavirus, and if you’d like to speak with someone on our team to talk through your individual processes, you can call the Coronavirus Call Center at 910-798-6800. If needed, we can also deploy a team to meet with you on site (maintaining all protective measures), to talk through processes that facilitate cleanliness and physical distancing.

We have developed a diverse team of staff from our Strategy and Public Health departments, including environmental health and communicable disease sections, so that our businesses and organizations have the information they need to take the right steps to protect their customers and staff. That will then translate to an increase in consumer confidence and help our economy recover in a safe way, limiting further spread of COVID-19. This initiative will continue through phases two and three of reopening, until our business community is comfortable operating in this new normal.

Additionally, we expect to receive approximately $4 million in funding from the Coronavirus Relief Fund established under the CARES Act, for expenses made related to COVID-19 between March 1 and December 30, 2020. We have an opportunity to be creative in utilizing this funding in a way that maximizes recovery efforts and assists businesses and residents. Our team has developed a plan for these funds that includes a designation of $1.3 million for a small business economic incentive grant program. This program can protect businesses from the revenue loss that has resulted from COVID-19, and can help businesses reopen and get people back to work. This plan is still being finalized, and we will share more details soon – especially for the small business loan portion – so you can learn how your business can potentially benefit.

These efforts continue in parallel with increased testing, contact tracing and constant monitoring of COVID-19 in our community. Our team is ready to pivot if the landscape of the virus changes in our area, and I encourage you to be nimble in your operations as well. Utilize the county’s resources and consultation services as you reopen, continue safe practices in your homes and personal lives, and let’s all work together to persevere and help our economy recover.

We are all too familiar with recovery and bouncing back after an emergency and, fortunately, this has developed great resilience among our residents and businesses. And we will bounce back from this as well, it will just take time.

Thank you to our businesses, nonprofits, community organizations and dedicated volunteers, as well as our own county and municipal employees that have, and will continue to serve our community through this next phase. As a public servant I am honored to work alongside you and as a resident I’m grateful our community is in your (washed) hands.


New Hanover County supports community through COVID-19

Posted April 9, 2020 at 11:50 am

By County Manager, Chris Coudriet The past month has been an unprecedented and difficult time for our community. Businesses have had to close their doors; the way essential services are … Read More »


2020: A Year of Action, Initiatives in New Hanover County

Posted February 13, 2020 at 10:44 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners held the 2020 State of the County address on February 10 to a packed room at the historic … Read More »


Sewer and water along 421 creates corridor primed for growth and new jobs

Posted January 17, 2020 at 12:37 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet In business, in economic growth…if you build it, will they come? I think the answer, at least in the case of our industrial corridor on … Read More »


Minority & Women Business Enterprise Program Aims to Increase Economic Diversity

Posted December 4, 2019 at 12:47 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet Earlier this year, New Hanover County began working on an update to our Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program to help ensure a higher … Read More »