State and Local Incentives Important

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Nicole Cartrette, a staff writer for The News Reporter, wrote an article on the importance today for state and local incentives to lure new industry.  Washington-based Good Jobs First, a non-profit  reported that North Carolina has some of the highest-ranking incentive programs when it comes to accountability.  Overall, North Carolina ranked second with a score of 79, although some of the state’s programs received higher or lower scores.

Counties and towns are doing more and more to lure new industry. In recent years, Columbus County has invested more tax dollars geared at economic development and expanded its economic development office to include a full-time development director and one assistant.  Local incentives have become more common with Columbus County paying out thousands to new and existing industry for start-ups or expansions.

As for the state’s incentive programs, Economic Development Director Gary Lanier said they are “pretty good” but he doesn’t deny there is room for improvement “in how we deal with incentives.”  In his discussions with site selection consultants, Lanier said he has been told a less cumbersome and more fast-track type of approval process in some other states gives those states the upper edge in recruitment and incentive approval.

Columbus County has approved $1.2 million in local incentive grants since 2005 to companies for expansions, relocations or start-up operations within its borders. An additional $805,220 has been approved and is in the process of being finalized.

To read  Ms. Cartrette's full article, click here.