$15 million is intended to spur hiring

STAFF WRITERApril 21, 2010 

Perdue included in her budget proposal new money to help create jobs and stimulate the economy.

She has been pushing job creation as a key plank of her governorship, and her programs were among the handful of items that would benefit from new spending.

Perdue included $15 million to pay for a "Back to Work" fund that would provide a tax rebate to small businesses that hire workers who have been unemployed for 60 days. Her budget includes money for a $250 a person tax credit for small businesses that provide health insurance to employees. Businesses that created jobs in counties with a high unemployment rate would also benefit from tax credits.

The proposals wouldn't set Natalie Perkins on a hiring spree. She's president of Clean Design of Research Triangle Park. Clean Design helps businesses create and sell their brand.

"I'm hiring professional staff, so a $1,000 rebate, while I'm happy to take it, I won't make a decision to hire someone based on this," Perkins said. "It doesn't put a dent into what my annual salary hit would be."

Likewise, Perkins, whose company offers health insurance and pays the entire cost for 20 employees, said a $250 credit helps, but wouldn't begin to offset the cost.

Jennifer Dunleavy, president of The Accuro Group, a Raleigh recruiting and staffing company, said employers are starting to hire again.

"Our company can benefit from it and our customers can benefit from it," Dunleavy said of the tax rebate. "It's perfect timing for this program."

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