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Press Releases - County Council

Montgomery County Council Approves Legislation to Strengthen and Streamline Economic Development Strategy

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 27, 2021

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 27, 2021 — Today, the Montgomery County Council unanimously approved legislation to strengthen and streamline the County’s economic development strategy. Councilmember Andrew Friedson was the lead sponsor, and Councilmembers Hans Riemer, Nancy Navarro and Sidney Katz and Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz were cosponsors. Bill 10-21, Economic Development – Economic Development Strategic Plan will task the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) with submitting an Economic Development Strategic Plan, that will include clear target metrics, strategy, and concrete measures for increasing business activity in the County.

MCEDC will take input from partner agencies and organizations such as the Planning Board and the County’s Workforce Development Organization, as well as economic development plans developed by the Council and County Executive to put forth recommendations to retain existing businesses, attract new businesses, and improve the employment opportunities available to County residents.

“Our County’s ability to improve everyday quality of life, strengthen our school system, build needed transportation infrastructure, and provide many other important services depends on having a growing and thriving economy,” Councilmember Friedson said. “This effort to consolidate the important and positive past efforts of the Council, County Executive, and other stakeholders will provide a clear vision to grow our economy and aid our recovery from the severe impacts of COVID-19.

“The economic strategic plan bill is a comprehensive effort to consolidate all of the County’s disparate economic strategic activities, consistent with the County’s economic development platform which I authored,” said Councilmember Navarro, who chairs the Council’s Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee. “It provides much-needed clarity to our strategic direction and assigns appropriate responsibility for the crafting of an economic strategic plan to the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, an entity that possesses the vision, mission, and skillsets for this work. I am pleased to be a part of the important effort to align and expand our County’s economic development ecosystem. “

“This bill provides a smart update to legislation I authored in 2012 (Bill 14-12) with former Councilmember Berliner to require the County Executive to prepare an Economic Development Strategic Plan,” said Councilmember Riemer, who chairs the Council’s Planning, Housing, and Economic Development Committee. “Now that MCEDC is fully operational it makes sense for MCEDC to provide that planning function, while ensuring the plan is regularly evolving through dialogue with the County Executive and County Council.”

“Economic development is the foundation for a community to thrive and succeed for generations,” said Council Vice President Albornoz. “I am proud to cosponsor Bill 10-21 and create a strategic plan to best support small businesses, entrepreneurs and future innovation in Montgomery County. It is in our best interest to spur creativity, commerce, and economic growth, particularly as we financially recover from the global pandemic.”

“Bill 10-21 makes strategic sense and will serve to uplift our entire business community,” said Councilmember Katz. “MCEDC is uniquely qualified to develop an Economic Development Strategic Plan to provide the type of economic development that our County needs and deserves.”

As detailed in Bill 10-21, the Economic Development Strategic Plan will include metrics to access the County’s performance when it comes to job creation, wage growth, supporting key industries, retaining and attracting new companies and employers, growing the County’s tax base, supporting and increasing entrepreneurial activity and other actions needed to boost economic growth.

The County Executive will provide input to the draft Economic Development Strategic Plan submitted by the MCEDC, and the Council will hold a public hearing on the draft plan and adopt the final version by resolution. The plan will be formally adopted every four years beginning in fiscal year 2022 and will be updated every two years based on any changes in County priorities and market dynamics.

The Council staff report on Bill 10-21, Economic Development – Economic Development Strategic Plan can be viewed here.

Release ID: 21-233
Media Contact: Aaron Kraut 240-777-7962