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Economic Development

Whiteville Economic Development’s mission is to promote economic growth and improve the quality of life for the citizens of Whiteville by retaining and expanding existing local business, attracting new business, and partnering with community stakeholders to support an entrepreneurial environment.

Whiteville Economic Development is interested in economic development downtown through historic preservation by utilizing a four-point approach: design, economic vitality, organization, and promotion.  

  • Organization involves building partnerships to create a consistent revitalization program. Developing effective management and leadership downtown is a vital part of the Main Street program. Diverse groups-merchants, bankers, public officials and others-must all work together to improve downtown.

  • Promotion helps to re-establish downtown as an attractive place for shoppers, investors and visitors. This means not only improving sales but also rekindling community excitement and involvement. Promotion ranges from street festivals to retail merchandising, from community education to public relations.

  • Design works to enhance the visual quality of downtown. Attention is given to all elements of the downtown environment, not just buildings and storefronts but also public spaces, rear entries, signs, landscaping, window displays and graphic materials such as banners logos and posters.

  • Economic Restructuring entails strengthening the downtown's existing economic assets while diversifying its economic base: this is the programs ultimate goal. Activities include market analysis and business recruitment.

With a population of more than 5,000 residents, Whiteville serves as the county seat for Columbus County. Named in 1810 for the original owner of the town site, James B. White, the bustling city lies along major thoroughfares U.S. 74 between Lumberton and Wilmington, U.S. 76 from Florence, S.C. to Wilmington, and U.S. Route 701 from Elizabethtown to Conway, S.C.

Whiteville has a vibrant downtown, Vineland Village, home to unique restaurants and shops. The beautifully restored, Vineland Station built in 1903, is one of North Carolina's original brick depots and serves as the town's civic center. The active downtown development committee provides support to downtown businesses and events. 

The city is home to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Whiteville modeled after proven interactive programs at the Museum's Raleigh-based Nature Research Center, Nature Education Center, and Prairie Ridge Ecostation for Wildlife and Learning. Free programs and interactive visits with guest speakers are popular with families and school field trips. 

The landmark Columbus County Courthouse in Whiteville is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival takes place in the city each November. 

Fitness and healthy-lifestyle opportunities include: The "Madison Mile," a popular walking route thru town; recreational programs and classes at the Whiteville Recreational Center; plus city maintained parks and playgrounds. The Columbus County Farmers Market is located in Whiteville and offers locally grown vegetables, baked goods, crafts and events.

Conveniently located near Lake Waccamaw State Park and the Carolina beaches, it's easy and affordable to explore the ecologically diverse area and enjoy an active lifestyle in Whiteville.  

Get in touch

The City of Whiteville administration and staff want to hear from you. We look forward to serving our community and visitors. 

Contact Us

Business Starter Packet

Resources to start a business in Whiteville whether you want to start business from home, lease a storefront or build a new building for your business.

Programs and Applications


Host your next event at the Historic Vineland Station Depot

The Historic Vineland Station venue is available for hosting weddings, reunions, civic and corporate events. Please contact event coordinator, Emily Cross, or call 910-840-2928 for availability and booking!
Emily Cross
Emily Cross
Event and Rental Coordinator
Madison Ward
Madison Ward
Economic Development Director / Main Street Director