Sandy Springs company may be offered a grant by Cobb Development Authority
by Hilary Butschek
July 20, 2014 04:00 AM | 3468 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bob Morgan
Bob Morgan
Nelson Geter
Nelson Geter
MARIETTA — The Development Authority of Cobb County will offer money to an unnamed business if it agrees to move to the county.

The group’s grants committee, chaired by Bob Morgan, met Friday to discuss three different incentive options it will offer a company, whose name was not released, if it agrees to move from Sandy Springs to Cobb.

The company is an “international payment processing center” that has 671 employees right now, said the authority’s executive director, Nelson Geter, who is also an economic development manager for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

The committee agreed to offer the company $75,000 as an incentive to choose Cobb as the new location for its corporate headquarters, technology center and call center.

The company’s headquarters and technology center are in one building and call center is in another.

Employees at the company’s headquarters make an average of $91,000, and employees at its call center make an average of $44,000, Geter said. Members of the committee did not specify where the company is looking at relocating in Cobb.

The committee decided to offer tiered incentives depending on whether the company moved just its headquarters to Cobb or also brought its call center here.

Richard Moore, a member of the committee, said he would rather see the company bring its headquarters to Cobb, not its call center.

“I’m not a real big fan of call center jobs, you know, they’re here today, gone tomorrow jobs — low-paying jobs,” Moore said.

Moore is the managing director of external affairs at AGL Resources.

Donna Rowe, a member of the committee, said she thought the new jobs would be ideal for recent college graduates who can’t find a position in a field related to their degree.

“There’s a lot of kids that need a place to start. They just graduated from (Kennesaw State University) or (Southern Polytechnic State University), and they need somewhere to start. We’ve got a lot of those shaking around here,” Rowe said.

The group agreed to offer a lower amount, $20,000, for the company to bring only its call center, or $55,000 if the company brings only its headquarters and technology center.

Geter said the committee has $86,000 set aside in its budget to give out as incentives for the year, and it has not given out any of that fund yet.

“Our whole purpose is to create jobs in the community. We should be incentivizing people to create jobs,” Geter said.

The company has a plan to grow once it relocates from Sandy Springs. Geter said in four years, it plans to double its total employees from 600 jobs to 1,200 jobs after the move.

The county could be able to help offer more incentives if the company agrees to create enough jobs to significantly increase economic activity in Cobb, Geter said. But he is still waiting on an answer from the county.

“The only way the county could do it is if it meets their incentives policy, so it would have to create a certain number of jobs and have a certain amount of economic impact to the county’s digest,” Geter said.

Geter said the company is expected to make the decision about whether to move to Cobb in 60 to 90 days.

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