There has been a flood of big economic development announcements by companies locating in or expanding in Guilford County in recent years, and, as they say, when it rains, it pours: On Friday afternoon, July 5, Guilford County government sent out notice of another such company that’s going to invest $35 million in Guilford County and bring in a lot of jobs to boot.

Guilford County used to announce the names of the companies when they announced the public hearings; however, earlier this year the county stopped that practice and just began using the economic development community’s secrecy-preserving project name, which in this case is Project Big Joker.

In accordance with NC General Statutes, the county by law must give notice of a public hearing before any economic incentives are doled out.

To that end, the Clerk To The Board’s Office announced that the Guilford County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 18 in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room on the second floor of the Old Guilford  County Court House at 301 W. Market St, in downtown Greensboro.

The official purpose of the hearing will be “to receive public input on the proposed allocation of funds for the following Economic Development Incentive Grant to: Project Big Joker, in the amount of $565,290.”

It adds, “The company is seeking to expand its business through relocation and is expected to generate approximately $35 million in capital investment in Guilford County, and create 26 new full-time jobs with the retention of 60 existing jobs.”

While the Board of Commissioners is required by law to hold a public hearing before promising the taxpayer money to the company, the hearing is more for show than anything else because, any time a deal reaches this stage in the process it means that the company has already decided to locate or expand in Guilford County, and county officials are just checking off the legal boxes.

The county’s announcement states that the company is considering a site at the Millstream Industrial Park, in addition to other options within the United States, and the mystery company is also requesting state and other local incentives before making a location decision.

Again, the commissioners will approve the incentives as they always do and the company will locate in Guilford County.

According to the county’s announcement, the average wage for the jobs created will be $58,885.

After the deal is approved by the Board on July 18, Guilford County will agree to cash incentive grants for the company, which is requesting state and other local incentives as well (which will also be granted).

The local approval of incentives doesn’t legally commit the company to expand in North Carolina; however, the cash grants are contingent upon – among other things – the company’s “entry into a local economic development agreement with Guilford County containing the obligations and agreements of the company and Guilford County.”