MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - After plenty of talking and some complaining, both city and county mayors say they trust Electrolux. However, the key will be whether minority and women-owned businesses can trust them.
The company won't put it on paper, but it tells the city and county a good bit of construction work will go to minority businesses. So far, the company claims that of the more than $15 million spent on construction, almost half went to those groups.
The city has given Electrolux tax breaks, incentives, bonuses, and maybe even the kitchen sink.
"I wish we did not have to do that," Wharton said, "but we've got to make a decision. If our competitors are doing it, and it's above board, we're going to stay in the game."
Getting a business to come to a city takes a lot of give. But, there is a little take in all of this. In this case, the take is jobs for minority business owners. Don't forget women; they want a little chunk out of this construction money pie.
Electrolux won't sign any guarantees, but they say 'trust us.' City Council Chairman Bill Morrison says he does.
"We've seen $30 million already going to minorities and women. We'll see more. I think it's a win-win," he said.
Over at the city council, members gathered and did what many say they do best: they talked about the Electrolux promise.
The City of Memphis requires people doing city work to hire a certain amount of minority workers and companies. But when it comes to a private company, about all they can do is talk and raise their voices.
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell says it's all good. "This is good for our community. It's good for Electrolux. And it's certainly good for our small businesses and minority owned businesses."