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by Jordan Green

LabCorp requesting incentives from Greensboro and Guilford

Burlington-based LabCorp was scheduled to come before the Greensboro City Council on Tuesday and the Guilford County Commission on Thursday to ask each body for $373,000 in economic incentives in exchange for creating 373 jobs.

The total number of jobs at the new Greensboro facility is 425, but 52 of them are positions that are being relocated from Burlington and Charlotte, Greensboro Economic Development Manager John Shoffner said.

“We typically don’t incent jobs within the Piedmont Triad,” he said. “There’s kind of a gentleman’s agreement…. It’s an attempt to promote regionalism.”

In other words, the city of Greensboro doesn’t see the point in giving a tax break to a company that’s moving jobs from a location that’s within commuting distance for its residents.

The company is looking at three locations: 725 N.

Regional Road, 4905 Koger Blvd. and 1701 Pinecroft Road. The third location is situated near the heavily traveled High Point Road corridor, and is considered part of Greensboro’s urban progress zone. The urban progress zone is made up of census tracts where more than 20 percent of residents fall below the federal poverty threshold. To receive the city and county’s full incentive amount of $1,000 per job, the company would have to set up shop in the urban progress zone.

If the company chooses to locate outside of the urban progress zone, it would receive only $667 per job. That’s because the average wage the company will be paying, $504 per week, amounts to 66.7 percent of the county’s average wage, Shoffner said.

The expansion would not be likely to create new property tax revenue, Shoffner said, but could generate new sales tax revenue, which would be shared between the county and the city.

“That’s 425 people that would be going out to eat for lunch on High Point Road,” he said, “and maybe going to Four Seasons [mall].”

Bar and restaurant owners educated on smoking ban

A new law banning smoking in restaurants and bars goes into effect on Jan. 2, but some owners remain confused about whether the law applies to them. Ann Staples, director of public education and communication for the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch of the NC Department of Health and Human Services, is quoted in a Guilford County Public Health Department press release as saying, “I have heard that some owners are telling customers they are going become a private club.” The new ban exempts private clubs, which includes country clubs or nonprofits. The press release states that unless a club is a nonprofit it will not be exempted. County health directors across the state are sending informational packets to bar and restaurant owners to clarify the implications of the new law.

High Point clothing company launched

High Point University students Nick Ruden, Jeramy Hiatt and Steven Beck held a launch party for a new clothing company, Port Southern, at the Plato S.

Wilson School of Commerce ballroom on Nov. 10. Zachary Moore is also involved with the company. The company produces private label hats and men’s polo shirts, according to a press release by the university. The company’s apparel products can be found at Lindsay Odom Limited in High Point or at the company’s website, www.portsouthern.com. The four friends were motivated to start the company in September 2008 because of their pride in the South and desire to produce higher quality clothing than they found available in stores, the press release states.

Childcare cooperative continues to operate

The College Hill Childcare Cooperative, located at 2300 Spring Garden St. in Greensboro, held an open house on Nov. 14, in an effort to enroll more children. The parent-run cooperative, one of the few such enterprises in North Carolina, was founded in 1981. Parents are required to put in four hours per week as a staff assistant, attend a monthly parent meeting and serve on committees.

‘Green jobs’ forum to be held

Face to Face, a group of young people that seeks to engage its peers in civic affairs, and the Beloved Community Center, a social justice organization headed by the Rev. Nelson Johnson, will host a forum on green jobs at East White Oak Community Center in east Greensboro on Nov. 23. Entitled “Green Jobs plus Low-Income Families: A Community Investment,” the event is the first in Face to Face’s “Soapbox Salon” series. East White Oak Community Center is located at 1801 10th St.

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