July 21, 2015

Council Approves Leggett’s Plan to Privatize Economic Development

The County Council has approved County Executive Ike Leggett’s initiative to privatize County economic development efforts in order to boost business attraction and retention and further strengthen the growth of good jobs in the County.

Under the legislation (pdf) a non-profit, private-sector corporation would be created to lead future economic development efforts.

“Montgomery County is competitive – but we need to be more competitive in order to meet the dynamic challenges that face the Washington DC metropolitan region,” Leggett said.

“To continue moving forward, I believe it is necessary to eliminate even more barriers to remain competitive regionally, nationally and globally.”

 See more in the news release.


  1. Economic Development ....
    Would then revert to the hands of Real Estate and Developers' hands?
    Can you please tell us the locations in the Country, where this concept is working the best.
    Also, where has it failed.

    1. Regarding your first question, no, the new economic development is a 501c3 nonprofit with an 11-member board appointed by the County Executive and approved by the Council. It will be a representative body of the business community across various industries. There is no basis to assume that.

      In evaluating different models of economic development organizations, we looked at national practices and particularly the jurisdictions in the Greater Washington Region and believe a nonprofit corporation with contractual oversight by the government is the best model. A private-sector-led economic development organization is used in Fairfax, Prince George’s, Howard County and Anne Arundel counties and Washington, DC, just to name a few.

      It’s hard to judge the “best” especially nationally as economic development effectiveness depends on many factors, some beyond an organization’s control. Any more questions, please email Lily Qi, lily.qi@montgomerycountymd.gov. Also, check out information at http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/ep/org-restructuring.html.

      Thanks for your interest.


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