Brunswick County is rolling out the welcome mat for two new manufacturing outfits this fall. Not only is Lee Controls, a metal manufacturer, moving from New Jersey into a 20,000-square-foot facility in Southport, but RTM Light USA, a surfboard manufacturing operation, will be setting up in a space within Brunswick Community College. This translates to roughly 70 new jobs.
While Governor McCrory recently announced that Lee Controls’ relocation would result in 77 new jobs, about half of its current thirty-two employees are actually planning to move with the company from New Jersey to the Southport area. This is according to Jim Bradshaw, executive director of Brunwsick County’s Economic Development Commission. He says that the state and county competed with South Carolina to wrangle Lee Controls.
"There was a Governor’s Opportunity Fund, that was forty thousand dollars, and the county will match the forty thousand. And that will go into purchasing equipment. They don’t just pocket it; it has to be specified as to where the money’s going. And most of all, that money will be purchasing new equipment, which of course will be taxed for Brunswick County."
Bradshaw reports that federal Economic Development Administration and Golden Leaf grants are helping the County to welcome RTM Light USA as the first occupant of the county’s new Business Incubator. This is space that’s been set aside to provide start-up entrepreneurs—who frequently struggle to find capital financing--with low rent and administrative assistance.
"So, it’s very low cost for start-up businesses and industries. And usually they’ll stay there a year or two until they have saved up enough money to look at purchasing their own building, or building their own building. We know there’s a number of entrepreneurs—small businesses in Brunswick Count--that are finding it difficult to start up. So this space and the assistance from Brunswick Community College will provide them that opportunity to get established in the county."
Bradshaw says the surfboard manufacturer will arrive next month and begin filling its dozen open positions.