CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Two major North Carolina business groups are merging to promote economic development and job growth in their region.

The Charlotte Observer reports the Charlotte Chamber and Charlotte Regional Partnership said in a Thursday statement they'll begin operating as a combined organization Jan. 1, provided both boards approve the deal.

Both groups are responsible for recruiting businesses to relocate and expand in the Charlotte region. They've worked together on a strategic plan over the past few years.

The regional partnership, also known as Charlotte USA, represents 11 North Carolina counties and four upstate South Carolina counties.

It lost one North Carolina county in February, and an audit found "sloppy accounting" last summer. It oversaw Charlotte's failed Amazon HQ2 bid.

The statement says a unified organization makes it easier to court businesses.

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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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