We work closely with local governments and partner organizations to ensure prospective and existing businesses get the support they need. Our services focus on attracting new businesses, retaining existing firms, and supporting entrepreneurial/small business development.
Business attraction efforts target established businesses located outside the county and encourage them to move into Chatham, where they can create new jobs for local citizens and increase the local tax base. The EDC works with city, county, and state officials to showcase Chatham County as an ideal location for growing businesses. Past successes include welcoming Uniboard USA LLC (now known as Arauco Flakeboard) to Moncure where it invested $142 million in a wood-paneling plant and created 146 jobs and Strata Solar’s headquarters, which brought more than 100 jobs, to Pittsboro.
Collaboration is a goal of the EDC to help attract new industry. The EDC partnered with the Town of Siler City and UNC’s Center for Competitive Economies on a Golden LEAF Foundation-funded project to create local incentive policies that will help Siler City recruit companies that will benefit from local workforce strengths. We are building a targeted marketing program to attract growing firms across seven industry clusters . The EDC is working hand in hand with government and private citizens to have available acreage ready for development. The 218 developable acres in Central Carolina Business Campus, the more than 7,000 acre Live-Work-Play Community Chatham Park, the 1,800+ acre Chatham-Randolph Megasite and the 1,000 acre Moncure Megasite are all in various stages of ready for development by Chatham County’s next major employer.
Business retention efforts focus on supporting local businesses within Chatham County, in order to maintain existing jobs and help firms grow.
Through our Retention, Expansion and Visitation Program (REV), we conduct annual visits to Chatham businesses. Visits keep the EDC informed of local business trends and help us identify opportunities to provide ongoing support. We assist expanding businesses with everything from securing financing and finding the ideal location, to tackling permitting, navigating local incentives, and tracking market trends.
Since 2008, we’ve worked with more than 50 local companies and helped retain 2,000 jobs. We have assisted with four expansion projects that are expected to create nearly 200 new jobs.
Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development
Small businesses are a primary source of job creation in most economies; small businesses and entrepreneurs stimulate job creation, develop crucial innovations in products and production processes, and promote the diversification of the economic base. Entrepreneurs and small business owners play a significant and growing role in Chatham’s local economy.
The EDC supports entrepreneurs and small business owners as they work to establish and expand operations. Using our network of local service providers, we help small businesses locate resources and support, including start-up training, financing sources, and technical and marketing assistance. We are developing a comprehensive online directory of small business resources and aim to be the one-stop center for new ventures in Chatham County.
The EDC doesn’t just connect residents with resources; we strive to bridge gaps. For example, we established the region’s only rural revolving loan fund for small businesses, and in October 2009, closed our first loan through the Chatham Loan Fund.