Montgomery County Executive Announces New Direction for County Economic Development

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett has announced that he will introduce a bill to transfer the major functions of the county’s economic development and business promotion to a private-sector-led nonprofit entity. As reported in a county press release:

Under the proposed legislation, both the County’s Department of Economic Development (DED) and the non-profit Montgomery Business Development Corporation (MBDC), a non-profit funded by the County to assist with business marketing, would be folded into a new 501-C-3 non-profit corporation. That corporation would be directed by an 11-member board chosen from the private sector and appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council.

The new corporation would be funded by the County and have responsibility for business attraction and retention, marketing and fostering entrepreneurship.

“This is an important decision that I believe is in the long-term best interests of Montgomery County’s economic health and competitiveness,” said County Executive Ike Leggett, who was joined in Rockville by business leaders supporting the bold move.

“I believe that Montgomery County is highly competitive – but we need to be even more competitive. This structural change is part of a bigger move to better respond to the fast-changing economic dynamics and will greatly enhance private sector leadership in economic development as our local economy transitions from one driven largely by federally-spending to one that is increasingly driven by the market.”

The release notes that the bill will be introduced to the county council on Friday and that the executive hopes the council could complete work on the legislation by August.

For more information read the full county press release.

Previous coverage on Conduit Street:

Montgomery County Executive Proposes New Direction for County Economic Development