Data Driven Financial Capacity Study Pinpoints Strengths, Barriers to Growth and Potential Steps to Address Challenges Facing Greensboro and Guilford County

(Greensboro, N.C.) Sept.14, 2021 – A comprehensive, by-the-numbers analysis of financial conditions in Greensboro and Guilford County will be unveiled to the public Wed., Sept. 15. The 2020/2021 Financial Capacity report details a myriad of community strengths, barriers to economic growth challenges and potential steps that might raise the standard of living and alleviate poverty through talent incubation, workforce development and job growth.

Greensboro and Guilford County received high marks for their geographic location, interconnected transportation network, traffic flow, industry-leading business sectors such as aviation, distribution logistics and advanced manufacturing, robust secondary education system of seven colleges and universities and a nationally recognized innovative system supporting early-childhood development.

Those strengths are constrained by lower per capita income and slow growth of higher-payingjobs compared to other major urban areas in North Carolina, as well as continued racial disparities in a community that is becoming increasingly diverse. Local economic conditions are constricting tax base growth and the ability of local government to support residents’ needs and aspirations.

The 84-page report was developed by local civic, business and education leaders, as well as local economic development researchers and city and county budget staff. Ed Kitchen, COO of the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation and former Greensboro City Manager, and Cecelia Thompson, Executive Director of Action Greensboro, co-led the development of the report.

Additional report highlights include:

  • Job mix has a direct impact on wages and per capita income. Current wages and percapita income are not meeting the needs of all community residents, creating hurdles to tax base growth and placing increased demands on county services such as public health and social services.
  • Local economic disparities are significantly impacting people of color and perpetuating challenges to economic mobility.
  • Greensboro and Guilford County enjoy AAA ratings from independent credit rating agencies, indicating prudent management of resources, general fiscal health and ability to borrow money at low interest rates.
  • Greensboro and Guilford County charges for services – both taxes and fees – are middle of the road compared to other North Carolina urban areas, while per capita debt is below comparison communities and well within North Carolina fiscal guidelines.
  • Guilford County Schools enrollment has been flat for the past decade while charter school enrollment has increased substantially.
  • Guilford County Schools’ needs and infrastructure requirements are significant and exceed current public funding support.

The financial capacity report will be released to the public on Wednesday, September 15 at noon during an online presentation and discussion. Registration for the public event can be found here.

The full financial capacity report can be found online here.

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