At the Thursday, March 4 virtual work session, the Greensboro City Council decided it liked the carrot city staff proposed better than the stick the City Council had proposed.

At the Feb. 16 City Council meeting, Councilmember Sharon Hightower had requested that companies receiving economic incentives be required to hire 10 percent of their workforce from the economic impact zones.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “Maybe 10 percent is not high enough.”

But Councilmembers Justin Outling and Marikay Abuzuaiter objected to Hightower’s proposal to force companies to hire from a particular economically distressed area in order to receive economic incentives.

Staff presented a solution at the March 4 work session that garnered nothing but praise from councilmembers and Greensboro Chamber of Commerce President Brent Christensen. 

Rather than requiring companies receiving economic incentives to hire a portion of their workforce from the economic impact zones, staff’s proposal rewards companies that hire employees from that area.

Impact zones are areas that have been identified as economically distressed and largely make up what is often referred to as East Greensboro.

The revised Economic Incentive Program Guidelines that City Manager David Parrish said would be on the agenda for the Tuesday, March 16 City Council meeting will include a $250 per job additional incentive for employees hired in the impact zones and $250 per job additional incentive for employees hired through the City’s Office of Workforce Development.  So a company will have the opportunity of receiving an additional $500 incentive for hiring an employee through workforce development who lives in an impact zone.

The total amount of additional incentives available is 10 percent of the original incentive.

Companies with a corporate or divisional headquarters in Guilford County may also be eligible for an additional 10 percent economic incentive above what is listed in the guidelines.

So, a company may receive a bonus just for being here.