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Greensboro City Council Approved a $150K Incentive Package for Gerbing's Heated Clothing

11:32 PM, Aug 6, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC - The City Council nearly unanimously approved a $150,000 incentive for Gerbing's Heated Clothing to move its headquarters to Downtown Greensboro. 

The deal offers $6,000 per job. It's six-times more than the city typically offers for incentive packages however, the council made a special exception at their meeting Monday night to approve the incentive.

WFMY News 2's Morgan Hightower spoke with Councilmen Zack Matheney and Tony Wilkins about why this incentive package is different. 

"I think in this case it is a little bit unusual and it's different than what we've done. I think we recognize as a council, we've got to be aggressive. We need to give our citizens the opportunity to work," explained Councilman Zack Matheny, Greensboro City Council, District 3.

The city council was planning on amending its incentive policies for companies looking to relocate their headquarters to Downtown Greensboro, Monday night. The resolution would have allowed the council to approve the $150,000 incentive however, the issue was tabled. 

That's why city leaders had to make this special exception.

"We have a set of guidelines we use for incentives and this was far in excess of what we usually offer and I was just not comfortable with the details of the incentive," explained Councilman Tony Wilkins, Greensboro City Council, District 5.

Councilman Tony Wilkins is the only member to vote against this deal.

The guidelines typically authorize the council to offer $1,000 per job to a company. The incentive is usually paid out over a number of years, and only after the company meets certain requirements.

The incentive for Gerbing's offers the money up-front.

"What basically we've said is, the money is here for you per our agreement," said Matheny.

He added, "They have to up fit the building per their space, per our agreement, and spend the money appropriately. Second thing is they have to achieve those jobs in three years. That's the minimum amount of jobs they can do and the other thing is those jobs have to pay above the average of Guilford County."

If those requirements are not met, the deal will be over and the city will get it's money back.  

Gerbing's has a manufacturing facility in Rockingham County that currently employs 140 people. Those jobs will stay in Stoneville. The jobs that will be added in Greensboro are marketing, executive, research and development, and design positions.

There is no set timeline on when Gerbing's headquarters will open but the CEO tells News 2 his plans are as soon as possible.

Last February, WFMY interviewed Gerbing's former CEO for a special on Made in The Triad.

WFMY News 2

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