Small businesses seeking incentive grants
by ERIN WILTGEN Thomasville Times
In part because of new economic development guidelines catered to smaller
companies, the Davidson County Economic Development Commission has noticed
an increase in the number of small business endeavors approaching for
EDC Executive Director Steve Googe spoke on behalf of one of those
companies, dubbed Project M, at the Davidson County Board of Commissioners
meetings on July 1.
“I think we have for a long time put our eggs in a few baskets,” Googe said. “And the idea that our leadership has pursued is the approach that we would much prefer to have a lot of smaller companies.”
In return, Googe suggested the commissioners approve an incentive grant
of .0027 times the company’s investment in real property each year for five
years as well as a second grant of .0054 times the company’s investment in
plant and machinery.
The total of the two grants would not exceed $6,000 a year.
Commissioners set a public hearing for Aug. 10 to discuss the incentive
The drive to encourage small businesses to invest in Davidson County
began about six months ago, spearheaded by Commissioner Sam Watford,
Googe said. The county’s municipalities endorsed some new guidelines that
addressed smaller projects and startups.
“This has caused us to have an influx of people that ordinarily would
probably have never touched base with us before they started doing some sort
of project,” Googe said. “I think this is just representative of that new
set of guidelines to encourage smaller businesses.”
Googe says an increased emphasis on micro companies could help the
“If you read all of the information about economic development and
growth, they’ll tell you that the bulk of the new jobs are going to come
from small companies, and most of the Fortune 500 companies are actually
downsizing,” he said.
While the county hasn’t turned its back on big businesses, commissioners
and EDC staff have seen merits in opening up opportunities for smaller
“We’ve given incentives to larger companies,” said Commissioner Chairman
Max Walser. “But when things get as bad as they’ve been, we perhaps should
not draw the line on larger companies. That’s why we’ve created these new
guidelines. Anyone who wants to create jobs and spend $2 million on
infrastructure we’re willing to support.”
Though 15 jobs may not sound like many by itself, the small number of
jobs over a handful of small businesses eventually adds up.
“Any job creation we can have in Davidson County is important because of
all the losses we’ve had,” Walser said. “If we can create 15 jobs, that’s
well and good for our people because we have so many people out of work.”
Googe says that the company’s investment in the county will increase tax
revenue as well as stimulate the economy. And eventually, Googe added, 15
jobs may turn into more.
“If you look at what we’ve been able to accomplish by dealing with these
smaller companies, over a period of time the multiplier of those companies
ends up creating thousands of jobs,” he said.
And on some level, any number of jobs will be a good thing for the people
and the families who get them.
“I think we’ve made great progress,” Walser said. “We’re doing a good job of attracting industry and creating jobs. We’re not there yet, but I think real progress has been made.”