With more than $2.6 million in incentives, leaders look to bring jobs to Wilmington area – StarNewsOnline.com

Leaders in New Hanover County and the city of Wilmington recently approved financial incentives aimed at fueling business growth and bringing new jobs to the area.
The Wilmington City Council unanimously approved giving four companies $695,000 in incentives on Tuesday while the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved over $1.9 million in incentives last week.  
The incentive grants are also under consideration by the state of North Carolina, which means the state “reserves the right to make the public announcements,” said New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet.
Companies set to receive the incentives have not yet been publicly named. Instead, officials are using code names to refer to the projects.
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Scott Satterfield, the chief executive officer of Wilmington Business Development, outlined the proposed incentives and offered some hints about companies looking grow as he presented to the Board of Commissioners and the city council.
The incentives will be performance-based and money will only be given to the companies after they meet job creation goals or other standards outlined in the incentive contracts, Satterfield said.
Here’s what we know about the companies and the proposed incentives:
An energy company that’s been a “significant” employer for decades in Southeastern North Carolina is looking to expand, Satterfield told the Wilmington City Council.
The company is looking to bring at least 485 new jobs with an average yearly salary of $131,000 and a minimum investment of $85 million in real and personal property to the area.
“Its continued growth is vital to our region,” Satterfield said about the company.
The city council approved giving the company $250,000 over five years while the New Hanover County approved an investment of $1.25 million over five years.
A financial technology company that’s “well known to the Wilmington area” is looking to create 204 new jobs with an average salary of at least $113,000. The company also plans to invest $25 million in the area.
The company is a “philanthropic force” in the area and could start creating jobs as early as later this year, Satterfield said.
Wilmington is set to give the company $200,000 over a period of five years while New Hanover County leaders have pledged $300,000 over five years. 
A logistics firm, that Satterfield described as a “preeminent employer” is looking to create at least 300 new jobs with an average compensation of at least $62,000.
Many of the new jobs would be in sales positions, Satterfield said. The company is a “strong philanthropic support in the community” and already has hundreds of people working out of a local corporate headquarters, he added.
The city has proposed giving the company $200,000 over a period of five years. New Hanover County has committed $300,000 over five years.
A new transportation and logistics firm could bring 75 new jobs with an average salary of at least $64,000 along with an investment of up to $16 million.
The warehousing company would focus on supply chain and work with the port of Wilmington. The company has plans to build a 120,000 square foot of cross dock facility and provide jobs ranging from truck drivers and fork lift workers to warehouse workers, according to Satterfield.
“This company will provide logistical solutions for local, regional and statewide importers and exporters while driving additional volumes through the port of Wilmington,” he said.
Wilmington is set to give the company approximately $45,000 over a period of five years. New Hanover County is set to give $67,500 over five years.
Satterfield said the companies being considered for incentives will help diversify the local economy.
“These represent four very different employers, and to me that diversity is something that we as a region … should be very proud of as we recruit new companies and bring new investment,” he said.
No members of the public spoke during a public hearing on the incentives.
While local leaders have expressed broad support for the incentives, Wilmington City Council member Kevin Spears said Tuesday he wants to ensure jobs created with the incentives serve all residents, including those from minority backgrounds. 
“Wilmington is not quite great yet, but we have the potential to be,” Spears said. “It’s greater for some than others, and we want to be able to give opportunities to some of the others.” 
Reporter Emma Dill can be reached at 910-343-2096 or edill@gannett.com.

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