Commissioners make way to help bring hundreds of jobs, millions in investment to Stanly

Published 4:29 pm Thursday, January 5, 2023

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A new business making plans to bring hundreds of jobs to Stanly received some support Tuesday night from the Stanly County Board of Commissioners.

At the board’s meeting, commissioners unanimously passed two motions regarding a new business millions of dollars to New London.

Stanly EDC Director Candace Lowder presented both items to the board, the first of which was for a 75%, 10-year business development grant between the county and the business. Lowder said the business was “a home building manufacturer considering establishing a manufacturing operation in Stanly.”

According to Lowder, the business would bring 263 new jobs over five years and be an investment of $54.5 million in real property, machinery and equipment for the county.

Commissioner Patti Crump asked Lowder about the comprehensive analysis for the grant. Lowder said her office, like many economic development organizations, use a modeling tool “to measure the economic impact of investment and jobs created by a project. It takes into account new sales tax, new homes or renovations to existing homes, the multiplier effect of jobs created by this project in terms of professional services and retail to support the jobs in the area.”

She said the numbers produce an output “to ensure that the community is not losing money in terms of return on investment for the services that will be required to support those 263 jobs.”

County Manager Andy Lucas runs the analysis, Lowder added, to have “a system of checks and balances in place.”

Commissioner Bill Lawhon said while some people feel finding employees is difficult, he wanted to know the number of Stanly residents who commute to work outside the county for employment.

While Lowder said she did not have the numbers, she noted companies in the outlier areas, like the northern and western areas, are larger than a municipality or the county. Some have access, she added, to more than 1 million potential employees.

Lowder said the county has a legacy of manufacturing which makes the county attractive to companies.

Crump asked how the average salary for the company, which is approximately $59,000, compares to the average salary in Stanly. Lowder said the average Stanly salary as of November 2022 is $41,612.

The other item passed unanimously was a resolution to authorize county staff to execute application and reporting documents for a building reuse grant from the North Carolina Department of Commerce for the proposed new plant.

According to the resolution, the county fully supports the project and will match $18,750 for the administration of the project.

In her commissioner comments later in the meeting, Crump said she was “conservatively excited” about putting to use “a building which has been sitting there vacantly,” adding, “there is nothing sadder than to drive by a big manufacturing facility that was one hustling and bustling.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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