Our local governments should partner with smart people in the creation of a new private community development corporation for all of Orange County. (aka Orange CDC) This CDC's main mission would be to assist and fund new for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in business sectors traditionally not supported by our local governments. Such as web and green technology. Why these sectors? Because they are high growth, create high paying jobs, and support companies that pay big commercial office rents. Another one of the Orange CDC's primary goals would be to TRANSCEND business leakage from the county. Not to stop leakage but to benefit from it when it does happen.
The Orange CDC would accept money from Local, State, and Federal government as well as private organizations and individuals. Then the CDC would invest in new businesses in exchange for equity. Currently our local governments have small loan programs that do debt financing for local business. We must use more financial instruments to boost our economy.
Why create yet another organization? Why can't current economic development departments do this? Because local government can not legally accept equity in exchange for cash in North Carolina. They do own stock donated to them though.
So when businesses out grow the resources in Orange County and move we still own part of them. For example: If this organization existed when Quintiles was in the county and we invested in them we'd have some very valuable stock right now. Those shares could be used in many ways to benefit all citizens.
The capital that the Orange CDC gathered would be used to perform tasks that the greater community needs. It could help offset the cost of projects that local governments couldn't afford or did not have the resources to complete. Another part of this Orange CDC could be a incubator/accelerator for businesses. That would support business from idea to IPO. (Inital Public Offering)