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The Right Note: Nestlé Move to Rosslyn May Be Bittersweet

Mark KellyThe Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Yesterday, Governor McAuliffe was in town to announce that Nestlé USA is moving its corporate headquarters to Arlington in September of this year. Finally, the long-vacant 1812 building will have a major tenant, which is certainly good news for Arlington’s commercial vacancy rate.

The move is touted as a $40 million investment by Nestlé USA. However, it does not come without a cost to Arlington taxpayers. The company will receive a $6 million grant from the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund, a $4 million grant from Arlington, and a commitment to $2 million in Arlington spending on infrastructure as well as “extensive relocation assistance” from Arlington County.

The last point also serves notice that while the county’s press release claims it will “create 748 jobs,” these are not new jobs for our regions. Some of those jobs — exactly how many we were not told — will be filled by people relocating with the company from California.

Granted, a thriving employer in the county helps everyone regardless of how many new jobs it creates. And in this day and age of states in a bipartisan fashion offering huge financial incentives to employers looking to relocate, it is understandable that Virginia is playing in the economic development sweepstakes.

However, it once again raises the question of whether we should take a different approach, one that helps existing businesses and new businesses looking for a better economic environment.

California has seen thousands of businesses leave the state over the past few years. One study indicated businesses could see operating cost savings of as much as 35% due to the unfavorable business climate.

Virginia is consistently ranked in the top 10 to 15 places to do businesses by those who rank these things. However, our ranking is moving in the wrong direction. In CNBC’s rankings, Virginia slid from 3rd to 13th over the past four years.

Arlington, and Virginia as a whole, should have one goal — make us the number one business climate for creating and operating a business. It will not only make us more attractive to businesses looking to move, but will allow our current businesses to grow and thrive.

Unfortunately, Democrats praising the $12 million of taxpayer money given to Nestlé today would almost certainly demonize any moves to simplify and reduce taxes and regulations as “giveaways to the rich and powerful” tomorrow.

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Lyon Park & Ashton Heights’ biennial home & garden biennial tour is back. The tour will include contemporary custom homes, older historic bungalows as well as renovated properties. One of the stunning homes on the tour is pictured above.  In addition to beautiful & unique homes, the Villa & Vistas ’22 event will conclude with a festive reception at the Lyon Park Community Center at 414 N Fillmore Street, Arlington VA 22201. What could be better right?

All proceeds from this event will go to the Lyon Park Citizens Association (LPCA) towards our neighborhood jewel & hub, the Lyon Park Community Center (LPCC).

When: Sunday, October 2nd, Noon – 4 PM. 

Where: Meet to get your tickets and the tour map at the Lyon Park Community Center (414 N Fillmore Street) We will have a table with information outside.

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Homebuying 101: Steps to Getting Pre-Approved

Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved. Join ACFCU for our Homebuying

Pink Carpet Event Charity Fashion Show

The Pink Carpet Event Charity Fashion Show will feature our fabulous breast cancer survivors slaying the runway! Designers from Baltimore and the Washington, DC Metropolitan area will bring exquisite fashion and glamour to this event. Professional male and female designs

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