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Downtown and Business Development Manager

Full Time
Work Place
Real Estate Field
Postal Code
United States

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The Downtown and Business Development Manager will be responsible for leading efforts to promote economic growth, attract investment, and foster a vibrant business environment within the downtown area and surrounding commercial corridors and business districts. This role requires a strategic thinker with strong leadership and management skills, a passion for community revitalization, a strong understanding of community-based economic development, and a proven track record of driving impactful initiatives in redeveloping areas.


This position is responsible for assisting the Director of Planning and Community Revitalization in the operations of the department within the Business Development Division and Downtown Development Division. The purpose of this position is to provide supervision, downtown development, and commercial corridor and business district development duties in support of the department. Work consists of varies administrative and supervisory duties. Overlapping deadlines contribute to the complexity of this position. Successful performance helps ensure the effective and efficient provision of city services.   



Major Duties

  • Develop and implement comprehensive strategies and activities to stimulate economic and community-based development to support existing and attract new businesses, developers, investors, and residents within the downtown district and targeted commercial corridors and business districts. 
  • Develop recommendations for current and long-term development plans, projects, and programs for strategic development and redevelopment.
  • Advise developers, business and property owners, stakeholders, partners, and the general public in regards to downtown and targeted commercial corridor and business district goals and works to advance those goals through presentations and public education activities. 
  • Pursue, prepare, and submit for available grants, partnerships, and other funding mechanisms and manage secured funding and related actives for successful outcomes. 
  • Collaborate with city officials, business owners, developers, and community stakeholders to identify opportunities for revitalization and growth in the downtown area and targeted commercial corridors and business districts.
  • Serve as a liaison between local government agencies, Wilson Downtown Development Corporation, Wilson Downtown Properties, and other downtown and targeted commercial corridor and business district stakeholders to coordinate efforts and streamline processes related to redevelopment.
  • Conduct market analysis and feasibility studies to identify trends, opportunities, and challenges, and use this data to inform decision-making and strategic planning.
  • Cultivate and build relationships with community partners, investors, developers, and other key stakeholders to promote community revitalization, investment and development opportunities.
  • Manage development and implementation of events, marketing collateral, advertising, and promotional campaigns to showcase the downtown district and target commercial corridors and business districts as vibrant destinations for residents, visitors, businesses, and employees.
  • Work with city departments and external partners to address infrastructure and transportation needs that supports residents, businesses, property owners, and development projects and enhances the overall experience in downtown and targeted commercial corridors and business districts. 
  • Monitor and evaluate the impact of economic development initiatives, track key performance indicators, and report findings to city leadership, partners, and stakeholders.
  • Direct the Wilson Downtown Development Corporation and Wilson Downtown Properties partner nonprofit entities, work to grow their capacity and sustainability, and in partnership with the city, implement decisions; may serve on or support various commissions, committees, taskforces, or local, regional, or state boards.
  • Stay informed about local, regional, and national trends in downtown, commercial corridors, and business districts development, redevelopment, urban planning, and economic revitalization, and apply best practices to Wilson's initiatives.
  • Prepare, administer, and manage division’s budgets, authorize payment requests, coordinate all draw requests and request for reimbursement, ensure the accuracy of financial reports and contracts, and allocate resources effectively to support the business development division and the downtown development division.
  • Ensure all appropriate databases, files, documents, and records are maintained for the divisions and in accordance with all applicable laws and standards.  
  • Train, assign, direct, supervise, coach, evaluate and discipline personnel. 
  • Work in coordination with other department manager, department director, and other city leadership and partners. 
  • Preform other related duties as assigned.


  • Guidelines include department standard operating procedures, various ordinances and regulations, North Carolina General Statutes, the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Downtown Strategic Action Plan, other relevant plans, as well as relevant city, county, state, and federal codes, laws, and regulations. These guidelines require judgment, selection, and interpretation in application.

Supervisory/Management Responsibility

  • The position has direct supervision over operations and staff within their divisions.



Education/Experience Requirements

  • Knowledge and level of competency commonly associated with the completion of a master’s degree in a course of study related to Urban Planning, Economic Development, Business Administration, Public Administration, or a related field. Master's degree preferred.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in economic, downtown, commercial corridor, business district development, or related fields, with a proven track record of successful plan, project, and program management and implementation.
  • Minimum of 3 years of staff and department/division supervisory experience.
  • Experience sufficient to thoroughly understand the work of subordinate positions to be able to answer questions and resolve problems usually associated with 5 years of experience or service. 

Knowledge Requirements

  • Knowledge of supervisory practices commonly associated with at least 3 years of previous supervisory experience in the field. 
  • Strong understanding of urban planning principles, community-based economic development strategies, redevelopment strategies, and development incentives, tools, and regulations.
  • Excellent communication skills, including written and oral, with the ability to effectively engage and collaborate with diverse stakeholders and handle contentious situations appropriately, including with team members, government officials, property owners, business owners, residents, stakeholders, community leaders, and funders.
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities, with experience leading cross-functional teams, inspiring trust, building strong relationships, and managing complex projects from conception to completion.
  • Proficiency in data analysis, market research, and financial modeling.
  • Proficiency with grant writing, grant management, fundraising, and sponsorship techniques.
  • Ability to prepare factual reports and present the same to appropriate boards, committees, commissions or other applicable groups. 
  • Ability to work independently, prioritize tasks, organize, make sound decisions, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Skill in deal and contract negotiation and knowledge of development financing, incentives, and deal structuring.
  • Skill in the Request for Proposal and Request for Qualifications process, vetting and successfully managing qualified developers, consultants and contractors.
  • Knowledge of federal, state and local statues government bidding, contracting, and property acquisition and disposition. 
  • Possession of or ability to readily obtain a valid driver’s license issued by the state of North Carolina.
  • Passion for community development and a commitment to creating inclusive and equitable economic opportunities for all.
    • To apply, please visit the Government Jobs and search Wilson, NC and click on the Downtown and Business Development Manager – City of Wilson, NC title.
      • All applications must be submitted online via the Developmental Associates application portal, see above, NOT the city’s employment application portal or any other external website.
      • Resumes and cover letters must be uploaded with the application.
      • Applicants should apply by July 26, 2024.
      • Successful semi-finalists will be invited to participate in virtual interviews and skill evaluation interviews on August 26-27, 2024. Candidates are encouraged to reserve these dates for virtual meetings should they be invited to participate.
      • Interviews with the leadership team will follow quickly at a subsequent time in person.

      The City of Wilson, NC, is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Developmental Associates, LLC manages the recruitment and selection process for this position. 



5+ to 7 years

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Development Government/Education Wilson Full Time NC Administration, Business Development, Community Development Downtown and Business Development Manager other