Deal studying business growth idea
Updated: Monday, December 19th, 2011 | By Eric Stirgus
Nathan Deal successfully ran for governor in 2010 on a few simple themes -- and one of them is proving difficult to achieve.
Create more jobs.
As Georgia struggles with an unemployment rate that for several years has been higher than the national average, state leaders have been searching for new ways to put more people to work.
During the campaign, Deal vowed to create programs to spur business development. Specifically, he wanted to implement a program called CAPCO, which stands for Certified Capital Company.
So what is CAPCO all about? Insurance companies operating in Georgia would get tax breaks to invest in businesses, CAPCOs, that then invest in small businesses and startups across the state. The hope is that the small businesses create jobs.
State lawmakers introduced legislation earlier this year, Senate Bill 203, to permit CAPCOs in Georgia, but it did not become law. The Legislature is expected to come back to the idea when it convenes next month, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported.
The thinking varies on whether the CAPCO concept would work in Georgia. Its proponents say it has saved or created thousands of jobs in the state of Texas, the AJC reported. Others contend it"s a program that has helped a few investments and cost some states millions of dollars.
Deal has asked his "competitiveness” council, which advises the governor on economic issues, to vet the CAPCO bill. The legislation may be tweaked if it is passed and sent to the governor.
"The governor supports the program but is committed to getting it right as he moves forward with the General Assembly,” Deal spokesman Brian Robinson told the AJC.
The idea"s supporters in the Legislature appear ready to give SB 203 another try. Deal seems eager to get CAPCO legislation he is happy with on the books, but he has concerns about the current bill, Robinson told us. There"s talk some version of the idea -- although it may not be called CAPCO -- could pass next year. We rate this as a campaign promise that is In The Works.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "CAPCO investment law gets another shot,” Dec. 4, 2011
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Legislators, Deal should make sure CAPCOs goes nowhere," Dec. 5, 2011
Georgia Senate Bill 203
Telephone interview with Deal spokesman Brian Robinson, Dec. 14, 2011
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