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Luring New Business

Some Rutherford County residents say officials could be doing more to attract more big companies to the area.

The Economic Development Commission, which handles primarily manufacturing and distribution projects, says 39 companies have considered the county as a location over the last 1.5 years and ultimately decided to go elsewhere.

EDC Director Matt Blackwell says the county does "everything within the law" to incentivize companies to set up here, including tax breaks, fast-tracking permits and helping with infrastructure grants.

"There are probably as many reasons as there are the 39 companies that came," said Clark Poole of the Chamber of Commerce.

The EDC persuse building projects and has submitted proposals to dozens of companies, offering Rutherford County as a location.

Poole said businesses could turn down the opportunity to build in the the county because of reasons that cannot be helped - like the ceilings in available buildings are too low, or the property would cost too much to prepare for construction.

"Give a little more - give whatever it takes to get them here and start building it," said Rutherford County resident Barbie DeWitt Monday. "I'm concerned because I actually want to stay here, but you know what, if my property values aren't going to go up ... I don't want to over invest for an area that doesn't seem to want to grow."


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