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Incentive money going to businesses / January 20, 2014
Halifax County will distribute $133,000 to six local businesses that qualify for incentives as part of the local Enterprise Zone, board members on the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority learned Friday.

Some of the checks will be for hundreds of dollars while others will be in the thousands, said IDA executive director Matt Leonard.

Leonard said he expects the incentives to rise in the coming year, probably reaching as much as $139,000 since the Enterprise Zone has been expanded. He said the IDA is working on ways to get the information out to eligible businesses: “We want to make it clearer and more transparent to business and industry so they can know what they may be eligible for.”

Dr. Doug Corrigan, who heads the Riverstone Energy Center, updated IDA board members on the response of bidders to a recent request for proposals for marketing the C-CARE Center. Corrigan said in addition to 20 responses received in December, he has already received four more inquiries this month. Interest in the Center has led him to extend the deadline for proposals from Jan. 17 to Feb. 21, since some respondents said the holiday season had limited their time to respond to the request.

Leonard reported that more than 6,000 different companies have visited the IDA’s website, with 65 companies downloading the request for proposals from the C-CARE Center. He added that it will be at least April or perhaps May before a full report on the activity can be finalized.

IDA finance chairman Garland Ricketts reported to the board that its annual audit has been completed and “has gone very well.” Auditors have suggested that the IDA may want to come up with a long-term policy for investments.

Ricketts also advised that the IDA will seek level budget funding from Halifax County for its operations in the coming year. Directors also approved a five percent salary increase for Leonard, which brings his annual salary to $105,000.

Marketing Director Kristy Johnson reviewed some of the changes the IDA is making with the branding and marketing of its logo and signs to include SOVA, which will help to identify the IDA’s location. She said there will soon be new signs at Riverstone naming it the SOVA Technology Park.

Absent from the Friday meeting were directors Chris Lumsden and Butch Blanks.

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If the IDA has extra money for investments, why do they keep coming to the taxpayers for additional funds?

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