Economic Development

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Welcome to Orange County Economic Development


Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week.  If you are a small business owner, please join us in celebrating YOU, our Orange County small business owner with fun, food and prizes at the following locations:

 Tuesday May 2  
      9 am - 11 am Efland Supermarket                
      12 -2 pm Cedar Grove - Farm & Garden Center
 Wednesday May 3  
      11 am - 1 pm  Chapel Hill - 140 West Frankliln Plaza
       3 - 6 pm  Carrboro Farmer's Market
 Thursday May 4  
       9 - 11 am  Hillsborough - Old Courhouse
       1 - 3 pm  Chapel Hill - University Place
Friday May 5  
      9 am - 3 pm OPEN HOUSE
Economic Development Office
131 W. Margaret Lane - 2nd Floor

Nestled in the hills of the North Carolina Piedmont, Orange County is the perfect mix of all that North Carolina has to offer, a great place to live and to work. The Orange County lifestyle blends great outdoors with metropolitan culture, a wide variety of housing options and some of the nation’s best schools. From a business standpoint, the county is home to a diverse and highly educated workforce, several world-renowned research universities, and some of the world’s most respected companies in technology and health care. Orange County is a smart, innovative choice for both employers and employees.

The team at Orange County Economic Development (OCED) is highly skilled in all aspects of business development, from site selection and financing to customized market research.

The Orange County Economic Development team offers:

  •   Business expansion, retention and relocation assistance
  •   Small business and entrepreneur support
  •   Information on commercial and industrial space availability
  •   Customized research
If you're looking to start, relocate or expand your business, look no further than Orange County.  We offer the perfect mix - on both a professional and a personal level - and Orange County Economic Development is here to help you enjoy success in both.


Orange County Economic Development is pleased to present this inaugural report entitled “Growing Small Business in Orange County”.  This brochure highlights the many small businesses, start-up ventures, and local farms and agricultural/food processing ventures that are thriving in our local community, and which are all recent recipients of the County’s small business grant and loan programs.   As directed by the Orange County Board of Commissioners, funding for these financial assistance programs have been made possible with the collection of the special ¼ cent retail sales tax (called “Article 46” funds) designated to be used for economic development purposes, following passage of the special referendum approved by Orange County voters in November 2011.   Article 46 funds help promote a variety of programs intended to help strengthen and diversity the County’s local economy, to include the attraction, growth and retention of our many valued small businesses and agricultural based operations.  The “Growing Small Business in Orange County” booklet covers all grant and loan activity during the previous fiscal year ended June 30, 2016.  In addition, continued loan and grant activity over the latest 12 months reveals that Article 46-funded loans and grants have directly assisted nearly 100 Orange County small businesses and farms to grow, and those operations have retained and/or added a total of over 450 total jobs.  On behalf of the Orange County Board of Commissioners and the County Manager’s office, Orange County Economic Development staff salutes all of our local small businesses and farms, and especially commends the operations showcased here as a successful example of the “faces of Article 46”.