Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides and Annapolis Economic Development Corporation Chairman Dr. Reza Jafari announce the Annapolis Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) will dissolve and the functions of the corporation will be housed under the City Manager.
On June 16, the Annapolis City Council voted 6-3 to move the corporation’s function to the City Manager’s office, under the supervision of the Small and Minority Business Enterprise Coordinator. This result came after budget cuts decreased the City’s proposed annual funding of the corporation from $450,000 to $250,000.
On Tuesday, June 24, AEDC’s Board of Directors met and voted to dissolve the corporation. The twelve-member board also voted to authorize its executive committee to be in charge of the dissolution of the corporation.
“The City remains committed to our partnerships with the business community, its organizations and the residents in order to retain, expand and attract business,” Mayor Pantelides said. “I am grateful to the President and CEO Lara Fritts, Chairman Jafari, and the Board Members for their dedication and service to the City. Their recent work is responsible for more than 251 businesses being retained, expanded, or attracted , and in turn, creating or retaining more than 1,314 jobs. Their work is to be applauded, despite the decision to go in a different direction.”
Over the next several months, Mayor Pantelides and Board Chairman Jafari will work together to create an Ad Hoc Economic Development Committee that will create new strategies under which economic development activities will continue.
“I will continue to offer my help and support to the mayor as we pursue options that will best suit the needs of the City and the business community,” Dr. Jafari said. “My immediate responsibility will be to create a smooth transition and be available to support the mission of economic development as it evolves.”
Understanding that the process will not be complete on July 1, 2014, when the new FY 2015 budget goes into effect, the City and AEDC are working together to assure a thoughtful transition. In an effort to establish continuity, two AEDC employees will be offered contracts with the City of Annapolis to ensure any businesses currently in the pipeline are not overlooked during the transition. This will also help to establish continuity in services during the six-month dissolution period.
Over the past year, the AEDC conducted and prepared three reports:
- A maritime study report which provided recommendations to assist this sector of our community
- A State of the Market report that provided a timely snapshot of the status of our business community including occupancy rates, employment data, and key market sector insights
- An Annapolis demographics report based upon updated Census data.
Incorporated July 30, 2010, the Annapolis Economic Development Corporation was formed to advance the economic development and prosperity of Annapolis by promoting and developing its business activity and business environment and by promoting and encouraging trade and commerce. As its bylaws stated, the organization was to provide opportunities to individuals and businesses concerning business management, legal, accounting and reporting methods and procedures, as well as periodically prepare forecasts and other reports on economic conditions in the City of Annapolis, as well as to promote and facilitate small business access to capital resources.
Source: Annapolis City