Guilford Leaders Explore Joint Economic Development Structure

Leaders from the┬ácities of Greensboro and High Point, along with leaders from Guilford County, met on January 27 with representatives of local businesses – the development community in particular – to discuss how they might build a joint economic development structure. From the Triad Business Journal story on the meeting:

Officials from Greensboro, High Point and Guilford County continued conversations this week about creating an alternative approach to economic development efforts within the county.

While such a structure has yet to be defined and no decisions have been made, Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan said there was a “very productive meeting” held Tuesday with members of the development community and other stakeholders to get their input and feedback on how a new economic development structure could be defined…

The talks are aimed at finding a way to better align various economic development efforts within Guilford County and make them more unified and effective.

There is some question how existing non-public economic development groups might fit into the mix:

But how exactly existing economic development groups like the Greensboro Partnership, which is narrowing its searchfor a new CEO, could potentially be part of the proposed joint effort is yet to be determined…

While he (former Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins) thinks that bringing the governments in Guilford County together is a good thing, he would caution against a potential new entity that has more public sector control than private. He said economic development is a team sport and the team has to include both the private sector and the public sector. “You have to leverage off those private-sector relationships to make it work,” he said.

He added that the area is already home to private-sector driven economic development groups in High Point and Greensboro that should be continually involved.