The incentives insult

From John S. Butler of Cornelius, president of Atlantic Coast Contractors, Inc., of Denver, N.C.:

I wonder if the N.C. Legislature understands the “smack in the face” effect its incentives to lure new businesses to the state has on a business like mine that has been operating here for over 35 years, employing people and providing their benefits, building and rehabbing the very infrastructure needed to make ours a good place to live.

We started small, suffered boom times and almost bust times, sweated through recessions, and jumped through all the hoops governments can conceive for us – having to hire people just to do that alone.

I feel my business is a solid example of many good, small businesses in this state that people count on as an employer and the government depends on to help our communities thrive.

Yet when I read of the millions of dollars the state is willing to hand out to a company from another place to simply open up shop here, it makes me feel outraged that our legislators and governor don't seem to appreciate how unfair those incentives are for the thousands of small businesses that operate here with very little if any help beyond government infrastructure.

It not only feels unfair – it is unfair.