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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — “Project Soccer” has been kicked back and forth between the Carolinas for months, but it seems the Palmetto State has scored.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley plans a major economic development announcement tomorrow in Sumter County. Word among North Carolina lawmakers is that officials from Continental Tire will announce their decision to build a factory south of the border, but what does losing this huge deal mean for our future?

Rep. Dewey Hill (D-20th District) says losing this deal will be a huge wake-up call to state legislators. He says he hopes they go after future deals more aggressively. Rep. Danny McComas (R-19th District) agrees and says something needs to change.

“We’re not leaving any stone unturned,” McComas said Wednesday. “We’re going to do everything we can to make sure we provide the jobs we so badly need in southeastern North Carolina.”

But “Project Soccer,” the code name for Continental Tire’s newest manufacturing plant, would provide our area with hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in investments. The company is believed to be considering land near the Brunswick-Columbus County line for the factory.

“The decision has not been made as of yet, so we’re still at the table, and we’re still doing everything we can to make it happen,” McComas said.

If South Carolina lands this deal, it will be the second tire plant to pump up the Palmetto State’s economy in a month. Bridgestone Americas is planning to expand its plant in Aiken by adding 850 new jobs to the area.

So why is it so hard for us to compete?

“We need to offer these industries an opportunity to come in so they’ll bring all of these other support industries,” McComas said. “If we are able to do that, we could certainly reduce our corporate tax rates and have a snowball effect.”

McComas says South Carolina put more cash incentives on the table, while North Carolina wanted to pay out its incentives over time. He says the problems lie within state government.

“You’ve got the governor, you’ve got the House, you’ve got the Senate, and we all need to get together and find a way to make it happen,” McComas said.

According to a South Carolina newspaper, “A state economic development board that approves incentive packages is set to meet at 10 a.m. on Thursday. They only item on the agenda is ‘a confidential economic development project’ in Sumter County.” Sumter is the other location Continental is believed to be considering.

Despite what lawmakers have told us, a spokeswoman for Continental Tire says she does not know of any announcement scheduled by company officials.

Comment on this Story

  • ohmy

    …..and we know where cert N.C. politicians will probably be tommorrow.

  • SurfCityTom

    Secretary of Commerce will be in Japan and China building relationships later this month.

    Maybe they need to take a lesson from South Carolina’s governor. She traveled to Germany this year.

    The Secretary of Commerce, and 5 aides, were in Paris for an aerospace show this year. I wonder why they could not have traveled to Germany to garner late breaking facts and figures which might have proven valuable in fine tuning the North Carolina incentives?

    Maybe we need a new Secretary; one with a business background.

  • nc business owner

    Congrats to Sen. Berger who will be accepting the Citizen of the Year award from SC Governor Nikki Haley tomorrow during the Project Soccer announcement in SC. Way to go Sen. Berger. You deserve it! You represent the citizens of SC well.

  • Harry

    Both the Democratic and Republican Leadership in NC is terrible. Hopefully, the voters will vote every single Republican and Democratic Senator and House Member out of office next year. They have no clue what the meaning of the word teamwork is. To let Sumpter County beat you out is a disgrace not only to the State but the Local Government in Brunswick and Columbus County as well. Maybe all of you will get voted out along with the Economic Development Leaders as well.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    Even before the news of blatant good ol’ boy Democrat corruption broke, SC had the edge. They already had railroad tracks in place, and even with an existing right of way, extending the line past Vulcan and out to the site would have been a long fight. Plus, CSX would have crunched the numbers and if the tires alone didn’t pay for it, the state would have had to.

    South Carolina’s location has a much quicker access to the interstate highway system.

    Continental’s North American corporate headquarters is already in South Carolina.

    SC is the smart choice for Continental. Neither Purdue’s little crooked check-writers nor Senator Berger had much impact on this one.

  • tabortim

    Yall can say what you want too about R.C., but I bet if “Big R” were still in Raleigh that tire plant would have been a DONE DEAL by now no questions asked!!!

  • Harry

    It is absurd to think that RC would have made a difference in bringing Continental Tire to Brunswick County. He chaired the commerce committe while in office and all he could bring to Columbus County was a Prison.
    Don’t blame the Repulicans for not landing Continental Tire. Fault lies with Commerce, their liaison in Germany, the Govenor, NC Southeast, The EDC Direrctor in Brunswick County and many others in the NC economic development aparatus. THEY FAILED US.
    Just for fun, take a look @ SC Govenor Haileys agenda while she was in Europe for the Paris Air Show. She took a side trip to Munich Germany to sew to seeds for MAJOR industrial projects. Bet you a dollar she met with the CEO of Continental Tire while she was in Germany. And we now know the rest of the story.


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