Guilford County has been handing out a lot of monetary incentives to businesses in recent years and now a new $1.9 million incentives package has started down the road for approval.

On Monday, Jan. 6, Guilford County issued notice of a public hearing at the next commissioners meeting to receive citizen input on a $1.9 million “economic development grant” for Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC – for employee retention and also in exchange for $68 million in capital investment by the company.

The announcement came just hours after the City of Greensboro announced that it will consider a $1.7 million incentives package also meant to retain those employees at a special meeting on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. in the Council Chamber.  

According to information provided by Guilford County, the jobs being retained have an average wage of $107,000. 

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners has used incentives many times in the past to lure new businesses to Guilford County, but, in 2019, the commissioners began down a new path: offering taxpayer money to companies in large part just to get them to stay.  For instance, Guilford County – like the cities of Greensboro and High Point – approved an incentives package for the upscale grocer Fresh Market that was in large part meant to retain that company’s headquarters and corporate leadership jobs.

One can only hope that the county won’t have to start paying every business in Guilford County to stay here since that could get quite expensive. 

Any concerns or arguments in favor of offering the incentives to Syngenta can be expressed by citizens in the commissioners meeting room on the second floor of the Old Guilford County Court House in downtown Greensboro at the board’s Thursday, January 16 meeting.

Recently, Guilford County Commissioner Alan Branson told the Rhino Times that he and other board members do not like using incentives for job retention one bit, but, he added, many in the community had been greatly upset by Guilford County’s loss of corporate headquarters in recent years such as the departure of VF Corp. two years ago.