With the economy still on wobbly legs as it tries to steady itself and walk upright again, any morsel of good economic news ought to be savored.
The announcement that city and county leaders have worked to help a local industry secure new digs that will mean new jobs is indeed a move to be supported and applauded.
The Richmond County Board of Commissioners, and city officials in Hamlet, are working to lend a hand to Knit-Rite, Inc., as it moves it operations from Ellerbe to Hamlet.
County leaders announced this spring that Knit-Rite, Inc. entered into an agreement to purchase a building in Hamlet, where it will move its 56 North Carolina employees. The company is currently located at 126 Mill Street in Ellerbe, and will be relocating to 167 Marks Creek Lane in Hamlet.
Knit-Rite, Inc., a national producer of specialized socks and hosiery for various medical markets, plans to add an additional 38 jobs and invest about $4.5 million in the new facility over the next five years.
“We have been working with Richmond County Economic Development for over a year in trying to find the best solution for future expansion in Richmond County,” said Chris Vering, COO of Knit-Rite, Inc. “We are excited to expand our business and to invest in the local community. Without the building we have located, we would have been forced to look elsewhere, outside of Richmond County.”
This is the second time in three years that Knit-Rite, Inc. has increased its employment and investment in Richmond County.
“We are very excited that they continue to grow and have chosen Richmond County as the place they want to invest,” said Kenneth Robinette, chairman of the county board. “It is another example of the industry-friendly environment we have created in Richmond County.”
County commissioners recently applied for a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant to assist Knit-Rite, Inc. in making improvements to the Hamlet location.
As part of an incentive package, the City of Hamlet is working with the company to make improvements and upgrades to the water and sewer systems at the new location.
Success these days is about having the right tools to help business and industry thrive.
For local government officials, that means using tax breaks and other financial incentives to lure new business to a community, and once established, to assist in the growth of local business and industry.
The use of these incentives makes financial sense, and a poll of Daily Journal readers shows a majority of you support the use of such tools.
We asked you: “Should local governments offer tax breaks to lure new business and industry to the area?” An overwhelming 82 percent of respondents said “yes.”
There’s nothing wrong with lending a helping hand, so we can all benefit from the bounty.