Why handouts are a bad way for state to help companies

By Lee Schafer, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Not every company adding high-skill jobs gets any attention from Gov. Mark Dayton.

In December, the governor helped announce Price Mechanical’s new 12,000-square-foot design center in Maple Grove, being built for up to 40 jobs, having previously flown to its hometown of Winnipeg for the sole purpose of pitching our state to Price.

He has yet to stop by Check Engine Express in Minnetonka, although it has a new 13,000-square-foot facility about a year old and plans to add to payroll this year, too.

Of course, unlike Price Mechanical, Check Engine Express wasn’t promised a $700,000 state grant.

So co-founders Ann Sangpan and Shane Burgeson expanded the old-fashioned way, getting about half of the $240,000 expansion funded by their landlord in the form of tenant improvements. They borrowed or otherwise came up with the rest.

Before anyone concludes that a car repair shop like Check Engine Express is no economic plum, please note that Sangpan is trying to hire for a job that sounds a little like the positions Price Mechanical intends to create.

Continue reading at Schafer: Why handouts are a bad way for state to help companies.