CHAPTER 5B. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 1985.

§5B-2-5. Economic development representatives.

(a) The secretary may employ economic development representatives to be paid a base salary within legislative appropriations to the department, subject to applicable contract provisions pursuant to §5B-2-4 of this code. Economic development representatives may receive performance-based incentives and expenses paid from private funds from a nonprofit corporation contracting with the department pursuant to §5B-2-4 of this code. The secretary shall establish job descriptions and responsibilities of economic development representatives, subject to the provisions of any contract with a nonprofit corporation entered into pursuant to §5B-2-4 of this code.

(b) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, economic development representatives employed within the department are not subject to the procedures and protections provided by §29-6-1 et seq. and §29-6A-1 et seq. of this code. Any employee of the department on the effective date of this article who applies for employment as an economic development representative is not entitled to the protections of by §29-6-1 et seq. of this code with respect to hiring procedures and qualifications; and upon accepting employment as an economic development representative, the employee relinquishes the protections provided for in §6C-2-1 et seq. and §29-6-1 et seq. of this code.

(c) On the last Monday in January, in years 2017, 2019 and 2021, the secretary shall submit to the Legislature a written report. The secretary shall provide copies of his or her report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, the chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Development and the chair of the House Committee on Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. The secretary’s report shall do the following:

(1) Identify and describe loans, grants or other funding sources that economic development representatives have assisted small businesses acquire during the immediately preceding reporting cycle;

(2) Identify and describe generally inquiries, requests for assistance or other matters that other state or federal agencies have presented to the department in the immediately preceding reporting cycle in connection with those agencies’ efforts to regulate or assist small businesses;

(3) Identify and describe issues with formation, registration and licensure requirements that state law imposes on small businesses that small businesses have identified to the department in the immediately preceding reporting cycle as burdensome;

(4) Identify specific forms, processes or requirements imposed by state law that small businesses have identified to the department in the immediately preceding reporting cycle that may be streamlined, simplified, combined, or eliminated in order to reduce unnecessary costs, delays, or other burdens on small businesses;

(5) Propose and describe concrete and specific steps that any branch, agency or level of state government may take to streamline, simplify, combine, or eliminate the forms, processes or requirements identified in subdivision (4) of this subsection; and

(6) Provide the following information:

(A) The number of small businesses counseled by the department during the immediately preceding reporting cycle;

(B) The number of new businesses created while being counseled by the department during the immediately preceding reporting cycle;

(C) The number of jobs created by businesses counseled by the department during the immediately preceding reporting cycle; and

(D) Any other information that, in the opinion of the executive director, demonstrates the performance of the department or economic development representatives during the immediately preceding reporting cycle.