From: Suzanne Wolfe
To: Vaughan, Nancy (Mayor)
Cc: Lee Fisher; Melissa Bilancini
Subject: (Draft)Increasing Economic Equality One City at a Time: Greensboro"s Story
Date: Thursday, May 28, 2015 4:14:13 PM
Dear Mayor Vaughan,
Hello. Hope all is well by you. For your review please find attached a draft on your thoughts on
Economic Equality in Greensboro. The information you provided was incredible and will be
extremely valuable to our readers.
We will be featuring your blog on our CEOs for Cities website, e-newsletter and our social
media LinkedIn/Twitter. Knowing your busy schedule and as time permits, please send me
your edits and/or photo's you may want to add to the blog.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me directly at 216-523-7348 or by email,
whichever is easiest. It has been a pleasure working with you and we look forward to getting
Suzanne Wolfe | Special Projects Coordinator | CEOs for Cities |
“ Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy
Leaders in Greensboro, North Carolina take the sentiment in this quote from John F. Kennedy to heart.
The community is increasingly diverse. With representatives from 98 countries, speaking 24 languages, Greensboro’s schools are more diverse than comparable urban areas in North Carolina.
Community demographics are changing in other ways as well. The city has a growing older population but workforce replacement by millennials is lagging.
Though unemployment is down and development activity and home values are increasing, the number of households in Greensboro at or below the poverty level has almost doubled since 2000.
How is Greensboro adjusting to these changes in order to have a bright future?
There are five major initiatives underway in Greensboro to address inclusive economic growth:
1. Small Business Loans: The CDFI (Greensboro Community Development Fund) formerly known as the Greensboro Venture Capital Fund has been created to stimulate the creation of jobs and economic activity in the Greensboro area. By providing debt financing (including subordinate debt) to minority- or female-owned businesses, the fund assists those businesses in obtaining conventional commercial loans, allowing new and expanding businesses to grow and prosper.
2. Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBE): A mentoring program established to better prepare minority and women business owners to aggressively seek and win public and private sector business opportunities.
3. Affordable Housing Initiative: The Greensboro Affordable Home Loan Initiative (GAHLI) is a program that provides home-buyer counseling, education, and financial assistance to low and moderate income first-time Greensboro home-buyers. The program is administered by the Greensboro Housing Counseling Service (GHCS), whose goal is to serve approximately 40 households annually with home purchase support. Funding for the program is provided from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the City of Greensboro
4. Incubators: The Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. is a private non-profit corporation founded in 1987 to enhance start up business development in Greensboro and the surrounding area. To accomplish this, the NCFE operates a business incubator located in the heart of Greensboro. The incubator is designed to support non-retail, new or emerging businesses. The Center provides modestly priced office and light manufacturing space along with shared support services such as business counseling, a receptionist, mailboxes, and data entry.
5. Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts: The Tanger Center will be a state-of-the-art facility with approximately 3,000 seats to serve multiple functions, ranging from Broadway shows to the Bryan Series to symphony performances to comedians, pop and jazz concerts and family entertainment.
A closer look at the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts
The Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts is a $65 million project that recently broke ground. It will anchor a multi-cultural district, connecting the library, parks and other downtown institutions. The Center will also serve as a catalyst for new downtown development. In an effort to promote business diversity, all construction partners for the Center agreed to use at least 20% MWBE businesses.
According to the AMS Planning and Research Corporation report, the Tanger Center will bring $7.3-10.1 million annually to the local economy. It is projected to bring 268 jobs once the venue is operational.
In 2000, Greensboro lost a NASA research center, and experienced a downward shift in the economy. When NASA left, it was believed that, due to the cyclical nature of the economy, unemployment levels would bounce back without government intervention. Mayor Vaughan recognizes that unemployment issues need to be addresses deliberately in order for economic recovery to occur. She, and leadership in Greensboro are working to ensure economic prosperity for all residents.