Be careful with those business incentives
Whenever talk turns to how to attract business and industry, the idea of financial incentives always comes up. But we've always felt that doing favors to attract companies is a highly questionable practice. Both Morgan County and Hancock have experienced the closing of industries that were originally led here with economic development carrots.
Though it took place in Pittsburgh last year, the story of Roomful Express Furniture is a good lesson. The company wanted a bigger headquarters and distribution center, so they put out the word that they might leave Pennsylvania. Soon West Virginia and Ohio economic development guys were offering millions of dollars worth of incentives and tax breaks. Pennsylvania ended up putting together a $4.5 million package to keep the business there.
After the bidding was over and Roomful Express agreed to stay, the firm's CEO remarked: If Pennsylvania had come back and said,