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Business

Charlotte targets California businesses

http://66.225.205.104/JR20090309.mp3

The number of companies interested in moving to Charlotte has slowed along with the economy. So the Charlotte Regional Partnership is focused on luring business from the other side of the country. This is a more aggressive campaign than usual for the Charlotte Regional Partnership.

In the last few weeks Economic Development Vice President David Swenson says they've sent 13,000 emails to companies in LA and San Francisco touting Charlotte's virtues. That includes a much lower cost of living and doing business. And Swenson points out that California's state budget is in crisis.

Swooping in to try and steal jobs from the Golden State at a time like this might seem cruel, but Swenson says it's his job to look out for Charlotte. "California has its challenges, and we're not going to be bashful about promoting this region for those new opportunities and projects that they may want to bring here," says Swenson. Swenson says they're targeting five industries in which Charlotte is particularly strong: solar energy development, motorsports, medical device manufacturing, food production and defense manufacturing.

A team from the Charlotte Regional Partnership will make personal visits to their top California prospects next week. But George McQuade says it won't be an easy sell. He's a spokesman for the LA County Economic Development Corporation. "We have a lot of negatives, but you know what?" says McQuade. "We have the best weather in the country. We get very little rain, it's always sunny here. People run around in shorts in the winter time!"