Code of the District of Columbia

§ 2–1201.01. Findings; purpose.

(a) The Council finds that:

(1) There exists in the District of Columbia a substantial problem of chronic unemployment and underemployment;

(2) In the last 2 decades, growth in employment, new business development, and commercial development in the District of Columbia has failed to keep pace with employment growth and commercial expansion in neighboring jurisdictions;

(3) During the same period, the District has experienced a substantial loss in retail businesses and other commercial enterprises which contributed significantly to local employment and the city’s tax base;

(4) Expansion of the tax base in the District of Columbia has, in recent years, lagged significantly behind the rate of inflation and the rate of increase in District of Columbia government expenditures;

(5) Substantial expansion of the tax base is necessary to help avert future governmental fiscal crises, prevent ever-increasing individual business and professional tax levels, and assure provision of necessary public services;

(6) The District of Columbia government lacks an organized capacity or comprehensive strategy to assess its economic needs, encourage business retention, attract commercial enterprises, or otherwise promote and stimulate economic growth;

(7) The absence of such a capacity and strategy has been a significant factor in the District’s inability to compete with neighboring jurisdictions in the retention of existing businesses and the attraction of new enterprises;

(8) Direct and continuing active participation of all levels of the business community is essential to carrying out the objectives of this subchapter.

(b) The purposes of this subchapter are:

(1) To establish an office with ongoing responsibility to assess the economic needs of the City; stimulate new employment opportunities; assist existing businesses; promote the City as a location for businesses and investment to priority City locations in accordance with the City’s comprehensive plan and its economic development objectives; and

(2) To centralize the economic development functions in the District of Columbia government in a single agency devoted solely to these tasks.