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Highway 6: ‘The groundwork is laid, I just want to build on that:’ Leaders and neighbors share their excitement for the growth in Burgaw

‘The groundwork is laid, I just want to build on that:’ Leaders and neighbors share their excitement for the growth in Burgaw
Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 10:45 PM EDT
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BURGAW, N.C. (WECT) - Burgaw may be a small town in Pender County, but you can’t deny that it’s growing. In the past 12 years, the population has grown over ten percent.

Political newcomer Mayor Olivia Dawson is the youngest and first female mayor of the town. With her background in the tourism industry, she is trying to make Burgaw more appealing for visitors.

“The groundwork is laid,” Mayor Dawson says. “I just want to build on that and add these improvements, and give the locals and the residents and the community things that they’re wanting to see.”

One local business in the heart of downtown Burgaw, The Glass Cloche, just opened up within the last year. Owner Lisa Kirkley says, she chose the location because of the growth potential she sees in the future.

“I feel like if we can make it more of a destination, have more small business, more cafes, more shops,” she says. “”It’ll just be a larger draw for everyone.”

Mayor Dawson says she has many visions of what’s to come for the town, both new and old ideas. Back when she was growing up, she says there used to be restaurants and other locally owned shops to give people a reason to go downtown. She’d like to see some of those traditions come back.

As far as new business coming to Burgaw, a new brewery is in the works. That’s a major draw for Burgaw, since it’s something not many other small towns have.

“The brew pub is going to be here later this year,” said Head of Content Production with Burgaw Now Sawyer Royall. “Just talking to people in the town, they’re excited. I think forefront is just like, we want business to be successful.”

In order for the town to keep growing, Mayor Dawson says that the community will have to support that growth. Community members will need to support local business owners in order for the town and residents to benefit.

“The improvements are going to sustain our quality of life, and support all the things that we want here and what we stand for and we want to keep,” she says. “I also just want us to work as a community to achieve those goals where we’re all in it together as much as possible.”

The brewery and other projects in progress in Burgaw are expected to open within the next few months.

The blueberry festival will kick off this Friday in downtown Burgaw.

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