The reaction to governments using handouts to recruit businesses hasn’t been overly positive across the country. Leaders in various cities, for example, have offered huge perks to companies like Amazon, which last year announced its intention to build a second headquarters. The cost of those perks, though, would fall largely on taxpayers.
This is likely why some have balked at the proposal from the Sheridan Economic and Educational Development Authority to build a manufacturing facility on the north side of the city for an unknown — at least to the general public — company. The company will relocate to the area, bringing dozens of new jobs with it. While dozens doesn’t match the scale of a new Amazon headquarters, it certainly would have a big impact on the Sheridan community.
A big difference exists, though, in the way SEEDA has been working to bring a new company to Sheridan. It plans to recapture all of the state’s investment in the project — all $12,592,090, which is the amount of the grant SEEDA has applied for to make the building a reality. The plan is to recoup the funds through lease payments (which will start after the first four years) or the sale of the building and land to Project Enterprise.
Anytime a new company comes to a community, especially one as big as Project Enterprise, controversy will arise. When Vacutech moved to Sheridan, some voiced complaints about the design of the building. With Project Enterprise, as with any new venture, growing pains will surely exist. We’ll get through them.
Rather than howling into the wind about diversifying the state’s economy, somebody (or in this case a group of people) has stepped up to make that vision a reality. Those efforts, made with Sheridan’s interests in mind, deserve a shot.