BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (April 7, 2015) – Staff from Burke Development had the opportunity Tuesday to meet Chris Chung, CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. Chung presented to representatives from all 23 western North Carolina counties as part of an EDAC (Economic Development Advisory Council) meeting held at AdvantageWest.
The newly formed public-private partnership was formed in 2014 and many services traditionally handled by the NC Department of Commerce have been moved to the new 501(c)(3) organization.
Chung, who has 18 years of economic development experience, discussed the Partnership’s role in the state, detailing the organization’s five areas of work, which include: Business Recruitment, Existing Industry Support, International Trade and Export Assistance, Small Business Assistance, and Tourism and Destination Marketing.
The Partnership has begun fundraising and, according to this recent article from the Charlotte Business Journal, has raised nearly $800,000 from private organizations. Chung stated Tuesday that leveraging these funds is key to the new public/private partnership as they will augment the state’s funding of $17.5 million.
Chung also listed the ability to raise private sector funds as one of the three reasons that he believes the public/private partnership is beneficial for North Carolina. The other two reasons were the need for operational flexibility and the ability to deliver more consistent, long-term messaging.
EDC representatives from throughout western North Carolina asked questions of the new CEO, who placed an emphasis on building relationships with repeat customers – specifically site selection consultants.
The conversation with Chung was followed by a presentation from the Natural Capital Investment Fund and updates from AdvantageWest on their Outdoor Gear Builders network and their ScaleUp WNC initiative. To share more about this business growth program, AdvantageWest will be in Burke County on April 20 from 2:30-4:30pm at Catawba Valley Brewery for “ScaleUp WNC Bootcamp & Beer”.
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