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Contiguous Counties

The UPLIFT program provides a suite of services to rural counties across North Carolina to support their tourism economy. The counties that UPLIFT is currently supporting are Bertie, Bladen, Caswell, Columbus, Edgecombe, Granville, Martin, Montgomery, Person, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, and Stanly. UPLIFT plans to expand to additional counties in the west in 2024. 


Although the focus is on these core counties, there are some elements of UPLIFT that are available to any county adjacent to those listed above.  Below is a list of frequently asked questions to clarify what services are available to these additional counties.

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  • Can my county participate in UPLIFT?
    If your county is adjacent to one of the counties listed above, you are eligible to participate in some elements of the UPLIFT program.
  • What types of support does UPLIFT provide to the core counties (Bertie, Bladen, Caswell, Columbus, Edgecombe, Granville, Martin, Montgomery, Person, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Stanly) and which ones can I participate in?
    The foundation of UPLIFT is to provide technical assistance and professional development to a wide array of stakeholders involved in the tourism industry. To that end, we are offering a number of workshops for businesses and entrepreneurs, attractions, festival organizers, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and destination marketers. Some of these workshops will be held in person, and some will be held on zoom. Space permitting, leadership and residents of adjacent counties are eligible to attend, however the targeted counties have first priority. Regular regional meetings will be held to focus on thematic itineraries. We welcome participation at these regional meetings from individuals and organizations from adjacent counties, as they are focusing on the overall experience offered within the general area. Most online (zoom) training will also be open to tourism leaders and practitioners from adjacent counties. Online workshops will address specific areas of interest (for ex. Agritourism; short term rental market; trails; public arts; and general marketing trends) Space and capacity are the limiting factors in determining your participation in UPLIFT workshops. Many of the ‘high touch’ elements of UPLIFT (that is, the one-on-one guidance) can only be offered to core counties.
  • What topics or skills will UPLIFT workshops be focusing on?
    UPLIFT’s foundational programs provide training and professional development on many topics including: Visitor experience design Festival implementation and management Sharing our story Destination marketing best practices Attraction development and management Business development and management Grant application support (not eligible for contiguous counties) Business loan support (not eligible for contiguous counties) Incorporating economic, social, and environmental sustainability into your operation and destination Monitoring your customer base General marketing practices Website and promotional materials design (not eligible for contiguous counties) Virtual experience development Familiarization tour best practices.
  • How do I let you know I want to be a part of UPLIFT?
    Please complete the form to tell us more about yourself. This will automatically add you to our updates list, and you will be provided information about upcoming UPLIFT activities.
  • What is required of me to participate?
    This really depends upon what role you play in the tourism industry, your personal and professional goals, and the time you are able to commit. We encourage you to sign up for our updates and attend some of our upcoming meetings to help clarify this question. You can also see a list of our upcoming meetings by clicking the button below.
  • How do I keep up with UPLIFT activities?
    Simply sign up here for our updates, and we will be in touch very soon.
  • Do I have to be a business owner or entrepreneur to participate?
    No; we welcome interested residents, organizational representatives, and anyone who wants to learn more about and/or be involved in the tourism economy in your area.
  • I have more questions! Who can I contact?
    Email us at
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