The illegal City Council work session held on Tuesday, April 27 was halted by City Attorney Chuck Watts after the first item on the agenda, which was listed as “Guilford County Economic Development Alliance (GCEDA) Update.”
Perhaps the agenda was wrong because update sounded like a report on what GCEDA had done since the last report to the City Council. Since GCEDA is the main economic development entity for Greensboro, it seems that an update would focus on the major economic development activities this year, or perhaps in the last six months.
However, this update mainly consisted of President of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce Brent Christensen going over the history of GCEDA. Christiansen talked about the logo and tagline for GCEDA. He also talked about the seven industries that are the focus of GCEDA and how well Greensboro, High Point and Guilford County cooperated to bring economic development to Guilford County.
If this was the first report to a newly elected City Council, including such background material in the update would seem appropriate. However, this City Council has been in office for over three years. This is the same City Council that held a historic joint meeting with the High Point City Council in November 2019 and approved identical economic incentives for The Fresh Market. Because of GCEDA, High Point paid the same economic incentive as Greensboro for The Fresh Market to keep its corporate headquarters in Greensboro, which is a pretty good indication of cooperation.
Sandy Dunbeck, who is sirector of the High Point Economic Development Corporation, also gave a report on GCEDA, including who is on the board, who has been on the board in the past, when the board meets, and the biggest economic development wins since GCEDA was formed in 2015.
Dunbeck also talked about the logo and tagline, “you can make it here” and how popular that has been.
Toward the end of the presentation, Greensboro Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President for Economic Development Marvin Price did give a brief update on the number of current projects in the pipeline. He said there were currently 36 projects that GCEDA was working on, which total 9,200 prospective jobs and would, if GCEDA landed all of them, result in $3.2 billion invested in the community.
Price said, “We are on the cusp of doing something really great in this community and it is only a matter of time before we land one of the major ones.”
There was little discussion because the meeting was adjourned shortly after the presentation.