Start Your Business

Waterside MoonrakersThe Crystal Coast is a hotbed for entrepreneurs, and why not? The combination of low costs and awesome lifestyle make Carteret County the perfect place to launch your new enterprise.

Whether you are seeking an echo career with the business you have always dreamed of starting, or you are a millennial or a Gen X’er looking to start your business in a place where you can enjoy a beautiful, natural environment and outdoor recreation and water sports, the Crystal Coast is right for you!

There are several resources available to help you with your Carteret County business start-up or small business:

  • Carteret County Small Business Center — Located on the Carteret Community College campus, the Small Business Center offers education and training, counseling and referral information.

            Contact: Robin Phillips-Hauser, Director, (252) 222-6127,

  • Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) — As the business and technology extension service of The University of North Carolina, the SBTDC can help you make better and more informed decisions, access capital and financing resources, evaluate and improve your financial performance, obtain quality business and market information, and improve leadership skills and employee performance.

            Contact: Ariana Billingsley, Regional Center Director, East Carolina University, (252) 737-1368,

  • Business Link North Carolina (BLNC)Transportation Impact — Working in partnership with the N.C. Department of Commerce, BLNC can help answer your questions about business licensing and permitting, legal structures, forms, tax requirements, financing resources, hiring employees and more.

            Toll Free: (800) 228-8443, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Carteret County Economic Development Department — Located on the Carteret Community College campus in Morehead City, the Economic Development Department is the primary point of contact for businesses located in Carteret County or for businesses seeking to locate or expand on the Crystal Coast.

            Contact: Don Kirkman, Director, (252) 222-6121,

Beaufort Boat House Dry Storage
Photography by Carteret County Tourism Development Authority
Randy Ramsey

Growing up in Carteret County, with the many options to be on the water that are here, I had no question where I wanted to start my business. Jarrett Bay has perfectly situated our boat building business on the Intracoastal Waterway in Beaufort, with great access to some of the best fishing in the world. This has helped to grow our business into many areas including service and sales, along with our original focus, boat construction. You cannot speak of constructing boats in North Carolina without talking about the generations of boat builders that come from Carteret County. The rich tradition of building boats and working on the water runs deep and helps to create jobs in our county, supply product for the seafood industry, and create research opportunities for the many public and university research entities that are located here.

Randy Ramsey

Founder and CEO, Jarrett Bay Boatworks

Keith Bryd

When I co-founded Transportation Impact over ten years ago I had no doubt that Carteret County was the right location to establish and grow our people- and service-centric business. Having lived here for 33 years I knew it was the perfect place to find and attract talented employees who would be a great cultural fit for Transportation Impact. Being headquartered in Emerald Isle allows everyone who is part of the TI team and our families to live in a beautiful location and a wonderful community. We have an ideal work-life balance that simply does not exist anywhere else. We are at over 80 employees and still growing fast, and when I look now at how being located in Carteret County has influenced the culture and growth of TI, I can say we made the right choice.”

Keith Byrd

Co-Founder and Partner, Transportation Impact