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What is the Committee of 100?

Chris Mazzolini

The Committee of 100 is either A) a mysterious organization that makes important decisions out of the public eye or B) a nonprofit group that works to bring jobs and industries to Southeastern North Carolina.

The answer is all of the above.

The group, also known as Wilmington Industrial Development, or WID, is a private entity that seeks to assist businesses and industries that want to relocate or expand in the area. In return, those businesses provide jobs and an economic boost to the region. Members work in a secret and competitive world, courting businesses with financial incentives, tax breaks and other programs. The secrecy is necessary, they say, because no one in the economic recruitment business wants to tip their hand. Others beg to differ, since the Committee of 100 receives some public funding and the resulting agreements with businesses often includes incentives paid with taxpayer dollars.

For example, WID folks negotiated with Titan America for three years before the public knew about it. That negotiation resulted in the company getting $4.2 million in government incentive grants in exchange for job creation and investment.

The Committee of 100 has been involved in other economic development projects involving major industries, including General Electric, Verizon, Corning and many others. WID strives to help the little guy out, too, by providing small-business assistance loans.

To find out more about the Committee of 100, what it does and who is on it, go to www.wilmingtonbusinessdevelopment.com.

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