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Capital Business
Posted at 05:23 PM ET, 10/07/2011

WDCEP staying alive with restructured budget


A studio lecture hosted by the nonprofit. (Courtesy of the Washington D.C. Economic Partnership)
Things are looking up for the Washington D.C. Economic Partnership. The nonprofit that markets the District to businesses is restructuring its 2012 budget to make due with the reduced allocation from the city, according to a press release.

It’s unclear what services were cut or whittled down to save the organization, which was facing a budget shortfall of $700,000, from dissolving. Officials at the partnership could not be reached for comment, but according the statement, the restructuring plan was unanimously endorsed by the board of directors.

“The demands to support economic development in DC have never been greater,” Steve Moore, president and chief executive of the partnership said in the release. “We are looking to resolve the gap between the increased demand for business support and guidance and the current strains on the DC government’s ability to support our programs.”

The partnership’s budget woes came to light in a letter Councilman Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) sent to Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) on Sept. 15 asking him to float the full $1.2 million the partnership is seeking for 2012, instead of the $500,000 that has been earmarked. Were the District to provide the additional money, Evans said the private sector would match the funds.

The lion’s share of the partnership’s budget comes from the city, which has reduced its allocation from $2 million in 2007 to $750,000 in the 2011 fiscal year because of budget constraints. To bridge that budget gap last year, the partnership dipped into its reserves, an option it can no longer afford, said Moore in a recent Capital Business story.

Moore put the fate of the partnership to a board vote on Sept. 27, where members voted against dissolving the organization and in favor of creating a brainstorming committee. That group, headed by Richard Lake of Roadside Development, had until Oct. 6 to come up with a plan...seems like the did.

Established by former mayor Anthony Williams, the partnership works with the D.C. government to attract businesses to the city, promoting such projects as CityCenter DC. It frequently holds seminars on financing, tax preparation and licensing for small businesses. It also represents the city at the annual retail convention of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

The partnership also hosts an annual business plan competition that has benefited local firms such as Skyline Innovations, a District-based solar company, and VerdeHouse, which secures unoccupied space for creative companies.

By  |  05:23 PM ET, 10/07/2011

 
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