What does it take to lure large companies to AZ? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports


What does it take to lure large companies to AZ?


Both Apple and Silicon Valley tech company Gigya have announced they're bringing hundreds of jobs to the Valley.

"We take a comprehensive approach to site selection," said Sandra Watson. The president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority says while quality workforce and low tax structure are factors for companies scouting new locations, "incentives do become part of that discussion," Watson added.

She says incentives are put on the table as a way to lock in the deal if Arizona is facing competition from other states. 

CBS 5 learned Gigya is getting a grant.

"We are participating with job training for them to the tune of about $450,000," added Gov. Jan Brewer.

But we asked, where does the money come from?

"We receive a budget from the state of Arizona," Watson explained.

It goes into ACA's "Arizona Competes" fund. About $25 million is set aside each year for the next five years for incentives and grants. Watson says Apple will receive incentive dollars from that fund, but she wouldn't say how much.

"We're finalizing our contract with Apple," Watson said.

Gigya CEO Patrick Salyer says talk of incentives is usually the last thing that becomes part of the discussion.

"It's influential but we need to run and operate the business, and there are broader decisions we have to make," Salyer said.

The Goldwater Institute announced Friday that it has filed public records requests to get details from the Arizona Commerce Authority, the City of Mesa, and Maricopa County, surrounding the Apple deal.

If you want to follow the money at the Arizona Commerce Authority, the agency posts their annual reports. Click http://www.azcommerce.com/about-us/public-notices/ to see how it doles out incentive and grant funding.

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