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’s work is aligned with five shared values: Professionalism, Integrity, Innovation, Stewardship, and Accountability. The county’s employees consistently exemplify these values and go above and beyond in carrying out the mission to serve the county’s citizens.

Learn more about the county’s mission, vision, and strategy here.

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 supports businesses, helps families, expands wireless

Posted August 25, 2020 at 9:03 am

By County Manager, Chris Coudriet

Since the start of COVID-19, New Hanover County has led the public health response in our community: setting up testing sites, performing contact tracing to help stop the spread of the virus, working hand-in-hand with the hospital to monitor the virus, providing guidance to long-term care facilities, offering consultations for business reopening, answering thousands of calls from our residents and providing support and resources.

COVID-19 has called us to action in ways we’ve never seen before. But we have been ready, we have responded, and we will continue to do that in the months ahead.

Since May, New Hanover County has received two allocations of funding – totaling $8,615,582 – from the Coronavirus Relief Fund established under the CARES Act. This funding has been distributed to the City of Wilmington and our beach towns, and used to offset costs that the county is incurring from our public health and emergency response, help fund additional senior meals and support, and ensure cleaning and social distancing at county facilities. You can see an outline of exactly how the funding is being utilized in the August 10 Commissioner agenda here.

As part of the CARES funding, the Board of Commissioners has made a concerted effort to ensure our community directly benefits, with more than 30 percent of our CARES Act funding being reinvested directly back into the community through several significant, targeted initiatives to help our residents.

At the board’s direction, the county provided $1.3 million in grants to 130 small businesses in our county in June – something that gave them a lifeline to continue their work and continue employing our residents.

The board has also allocated an additional $1.3 million to provide financial relief to families in need of child care for school-aged children, and assistance to households at risk of losing housing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These programs are being administered by our Department of Social Services and as of Friday, August 21 (11 days into the two programs), 412 households have applied for housing support, 33 childcare facilities are participating in the program, and 141 children are enrolled with their participating childcare center.

COVID-19 has strained our economy, families, and students are having to navigate virtual learning and additional childcare needs, and many of our residents are unemployed and fearful of how they will pay their rent to stay in their homes. It’s clear that there is a need, and we will continue our work and do all we can to meet that need.

These programs will continue to help residents until the $1.3 million in funding is gone, and then the county will reassess and determine how else we can help our residents during these uncertain and trying times. If you or anyone you know could benefit, please visit SocialServices.NHCgov.com/COVID.

We also recently announced a free Wi-Fi initiative that the county has undertaken with several community partners to make sure students, families, and job-seekers have places to go for free high-speed internet if they don’t have access at home. This is a big and important initiative that adds 6 outdoor Wi-Fi locations at county facilities (with more to come), 18 drive-up Wi-Fi sites at area schools, and more community locations to be brought online in the coming weeks.

Thank you to our county’s IT Department, the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Cloudwyze, the school system, Live Oak Bank, nCino and Apiture for stepping forward to help expand wireless access in our community. I look forward to seeing even more equitable internet opportunities for our residents as the year progresses.

I don’t think any of us were prepared for the changes that COVID-19 would bring, but I believe the county has taken important measures to help our businesses, families, and residents during these difficult times.

It does take all of us, coming together, serving together. And I appreciate everyone in our community who has taken up this call to action – by volunteering, supporting, and providing assistance to those who need it most.


2020 Census count will guide important funding for our region – and it’s needed now more than ever

Posted July 17, 2020 at 8:58 am

By County Manager, Chris Coudriet The COVID-19 pandemic has rescheduled, canceled and changed the course of most every event and plan in the past four months. The 2020 Census is … Read More »


New Hanover County Awards $1.3 million to 130 Local Small Businesses

Posted June 24, 2020 at 8:17 am

By County Manager, Chris Coudriet The locally-owned store where you frequently shop, your barber or hair salon, the family-owned print store down the street – those are just some of the businesses that the county has been able … Read More »


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 … Read More »


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 »