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For Local Tech Firm, County Approves $120K In Incentives

By Cece Nunn, posted Sep 20, 2021
Scott Satterfield, CEO of Wilmington Business Development, at a New Hanover County meeting Monday explains WBD's request to grant economic incentives to a local software firm. (Photo by Cece Nunn)
A software development firm in Wilmington is getting a boost from local coffers.

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday morning to grant a performance-based incentive of $24,000 a year for five years, up to $120,000, to the tech company to double its workforce, which now stands at about 100 employees, officials said.

The firm, whose identity officials are keeping secret for now, plans to create at least 104 full-time jobs that have an average salary of $80,000.

Scott Satterfield, CEO of Wilmington Business Development, said the company has existed in New Hanover County for several years and is "a platform software developer."

WBD, the main economic development agency for Wilmington and New Hanover and Pender counties, made the request for the incentives to the county and the city.

Satterfield spoke during the county public hearing Monday, also saying of the company, "We are extremely excited about pursuing the fintech, financial technology sector. They have a great operation, excellent company, low turnover rates, and we are extremely excited about encouraging them to continue to grow here in Wilmington."

Satterfield said the firm, referred to as "Project Manager" in agenda documents, currently is confidential "for reasons related to incentive agreements with the state."

State incentives that could apply include the Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG), "a performance-based, discretionary incentive program that provides cash grants directly to new and expanding companies to help offset the cost of locating or expanding a facility in the state. The amount of the grant is based on a percentage of the personal income tax withholdings associated with the new jobs," according to the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

For projects located in a Tier 2 county like New Hanover,  "90% of the annual grant is paid to the company, and 10% is transferred to the Utility Account, a state program to fund infrastructure projects in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties," the EDPNC's website states.

But more local incentives are likely to come first. During its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Wilmington City Council will consider a grant to the company of $16,000 a year for five years, up to $80,000, for the firm's job expansion.

The county and city grants are subject each year to appropriation by elected officials and to meeting employment milestones.
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