Florida storms could boost area economy - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

10.8.04

Florida storms could boost area economy

Hurricane damage to the boating industry in Florida could prove to be an advantage to this area. That point of view springs from a meeting at UNCW Thursday between economics experts, community and business leaders.

The focus: boat makers, fishing guides and marinas, all of which contribute about $500 million to the state's economy.

The storms in Florida are sending more of that business our way.

"We're seeing interest from companies that have damage that might be looking to relocate to North Carolina," says industry expert Mike Bradley. "That's both boat builders and companies that provide products that make boats."

The boating industry already employs about 20,000 people in North Carolina.

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