Wilmington Mayoral Candidate Debate Large Business Incentives

Oct 24, 2011

Wilmington, NC – Last night WHQR hosted a mayoral candidate forum and media panelists from WWAY, WECT and the Star News as well as audience members posed questions to candidates Justin LaNasa and Bill Saffo. WHQR's Sara Wood reports Jon Evans of WECT asked about the use of incentives for bringing large businesses to Wilmington.

The question clearly divided the candidates. Justin LaNasa says he does not support incentives to lure bigger companies into Wilmington. He says it is not an auction and there is no guarantee the incentives will help the economy.

"I think that we should look after our own before we start trying to bring in big money. I don't think the tax dollars should be spent, at this time, for big economic drivers. It's not a guarantee. I really think that we have to look after small business more than we do big business because that is the backbone of our city and our country, and without small business there would be nothing."

Mayor Bill Saffo countered LaNasa by saying without offering incentives the city would lose out to other surrounding states already in the game. Saffo cited PPD, Gilford Mills and Screen Gems studios as strong examples of economic gain from incentives.

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