Business & Economy
7:58 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Gov.'s Budget Shifts Funding For Economy Projects

Gov. Pat McCrory
Pat McCrory
Credit NC Governor's Office

This week's budget proposal from Gov. Pat McCrory includes tweaks to funding for economic development programs. 

The governor unveiled his spending plan Wednesday.  It would add money to a new economic branding strategy as well as a program that supports main streets in small communities.  But it cuts funds for two non-profits and a foundation that provide grants meant to support job growth.

"You're going to be able to interest people in coming to the state. It does not address the issue, though, of the capacity of the rural communities to participate in economic growth," says Billy Ray Hall, president of the NC Rural Economic Development Center.

"That's what we do is work at the local level to improve capacity.  They're still going to need infrastructure and job training for their employees.  They're going to need the facilities to go into and the local governments are going to have to provide that support to them."

The governor's budget would cut $10 million from the Rural Economic Development Center over the next two years.  Hall says the state provides an average of 90 percent of the organization's annual budget.

Gov. McCrory's financial team has said the spending plan includes a long-term economic development strategy to attract and retain new jobs.