The University of Georgia recently launched a new training initiative to help strengthen economic development professionals’ efforts to build a more prosperous Georgia. The course, titled Financing Economic Development and Deal Structuring, debuted Dec. 5 at the UGA Center for Continuing Education Hotel and Conference Center with nearly 40 economic development professionals attending. A second training session is being offered on Feb. 5 in Tifton.
Developed by the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, the course is designed to help economic development professionals improve their understanding of the various financing and incentive programs available to them. The course was presented by economic development expert Rob Gordon, a faculty member at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, a UGA Public Service and Outreach unit. The comprehensive training focuses on local financing options including bonds, overlooked and underutilized funding opportunities, incentives that can be used to close financial gaps, and tools for valuing financing and incentive packages.
Successful economic development professionals understand how financial packages are structured and the importance of financing options in securing new business development and retaining existing business. Course participants learn how to access available funding sources and incentive programs, and how to pull multiple resources together to close the deal.
Shane Short, executive director of the Development Authority of Walton County, attended the Athens training session and said, “The training on various financing options for economic development was a tremendous asset for me, especially the third-party options that I have never explored and never knew about.”
Economic development professionals who understand how to secure funding and other incentives from a variety of local, state and federal resources are better equipped to help their community bridge the gap between a company’s private funding sources and the overall financial requirements necessary for locating or expanding a business.