Governor Creates Office for Economic Development

According to the Associated Press, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced the creation of a new office designed to help streamline economic development and marketing of Arizona across the nation and internationally.  The new organization is part of a reorganization intended to more effectively use the more than $50 million a year Arizona currently spends to boost tourism and draw businesses.

The goal is to coordinate the state’s sales and marketing efforts with workforce and business development while streamlining regulations.

The new Governor’s Economic Opportunity Office has 50 staffers from several agencies.  All working together to provide detailed analysis on taxes regulations and available workforce to help the Arizona Commerce Authority and state Tourism Department.  The new one-stop financing operation for small and big businesses relocating or being created in Arizona will mirror efforts by some cities and counties.

“This is not any debt that is getting to the state’s balance sheet” said Lorenzo Romero Ducey’s budget director. “This is a one-stop shop opportunity for businesses coming in looking for an opportunity to get financing.”

The Commerce Authority and Tourism Department are expected to receive about $50 million in funding. Two other agencies that work on economic development issues are the Arizona-Mexico Commission and the Arizona Zaneros a group created by Ducey.  The economic opportunity office will includes staff currently assigned to the state Employment and Population Statistics operation.   The labor force analysts performs required federal employment and unemployment tracking and supplies that information to the office so it can be used to help market the state.

Businesses that are considering relocating to Arizona will be provided detailed information on available workers. Staffers in the office also will track city county and state regulations.  In addition, they will look for ways to streamline the rules and inform prospective employers of the costs of operating in Arizona.

The proposed legislation also provides more accountability and transparency for the commerce authority which awards state cash to companies that choose to locate in Arizona.