Last night the Wilmington City Council unanimously approved a resolution that could offer Castle Branch financial incentives to expand its local headquarters and bring 400 news jobs to the area. The resolution to potentially give the company $250,000 dollars mirrors a decision New Hanover County commissioners made earlier this week.
Together, the city and county could grant the company $500,000 over five years for the expansion. Several stipulations and benchmarks would be tied into the deal, including a promise that Castle Branch invest $9 million in the area. Many questions have risen whether its right to offer companies tax payer money as incentive for creating jobs. But Mayor Bill Saffo says in today's economy, that's how you play the game.
“I know how difficult it is to recruit companies, keep jobs in the community because I've been at those negotiations, I've sat at those tables and heard what these CEOs and people have talked about. Unless the federal government takes action to outlaw individual states from sweetening the pie, those states and those communities that do not offer incentives will sit on the sidelines. It's as simple as that.”
Castle Branch has been located in Wilmington for more than 10 years. The company performs background checks for employers, and its headquarters are currently located near Mayfaire. Approving the resolution does not seal the deal on incentives. Another round of negotiations must happen between the city, county, and Castle Branch before a final agreement is approved.