After being criticized for giving economic development grants to businesses expanding or relocating in the area – without sufficiently weighing costs to the public to serve these businesses – Mecklenburg County has developed a new set of guidelines to help make more prudent decisions.
The guidelines are based on three criteria:
- number of jobs created;
- estimated average annual salary of jobs created; and
- minimum investment by a business
Charlotte and Mecklenburg County jointly sponsor the Business Investment Program, a city/county initiative that promotes the creation, expansion or retention of businesses in target locations in the areas. The program provides grants to eligible companies based on the projected property tax that it will generate.
In weighing grant funding decisions, the County Board and City Council can turn to these new guidelines to estimate the impact a business might have on local public services like schools, libraries, etc., and determine a ballpark return on their investment.