WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — In the past several months, two major corporations have decided not to move to southeastern North Carolina. The losses are something many legislators say need to spark change in the way the state attracts business.
During a visit to Wilmington today, we talked to NC Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco about business.
Continental Tire and Caterpillar both considered building in Brunswick County, but both decided to go somewhere else. Crisco does not see this as a negative, but a positive; not because we lost the companies, but because they considered us in the first place.
“I don’t know anybody that’s ever batted 1.000, but the key is to go to bat a lot,” Crisco said. “North Carolina, we’re aggressive. We go after the big ones. We won’t win them all, but we are winning a lot of them.”
Crisco says North Carolina’s economy is looking up. He sees these losses as an opportunity to learn and improve on our approach.
“Yes, we need to review them,” he said. “The economy is changing, and competition is changing. I told the legislature yesterday everything they knew prior, they should disregard because it’s out of date and look at what’s happening now.”
Crisco said the fact that those businesses looked here means more will, too. He said success is never guaranteed, but you have to try.
The commerce secretary believes the key is having an economic development team that works together.
Many criticize North Carolina’s tax incentives for the loss of thousands of jobs the companies would have brought to the area. Crisco said incentives are certainly something the state is looking to improve.