Transportation Perception, a logistics firm with roots in Hickory, will quickly be relocating its company headquarters to Atlanta.

What precisely does this improvement imply for the corporate’s future in Hickory and for the 300 staff the corporate employs in and close to town? Not a lot, Transportation Perception CEO Ken Beyer stated in a current interview.

“It’s actually simply in title solely, proper?” Beyer stated. “There aren’t any adjustments when it comes to folks shifting. There’s no discount in drive in Hickory, for instance. So it’s extra about simply the chief workforce relies in Atlanta so we’re making the headquarters places Atlanta.”

He additionally famous that Transportation Perception has acquired different Atlanta-area firms in the previous couple of years. The transfer is predicted to be full in some unspecified time in the future in 2023, Beyer stated.

On the identical time, John Quinterno, a principal on the Chapel Hill-based consulting agency South By North Methods, stated relocating key company figures can create dangers.

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“I’d say that simply in a basic rule, as soon as you are taking that kind of senior management out of a given neighborhood, it does open up the door to a possible weakening of ties or when exhausting selections should be made. Is it simpler to kind of decide that negatively impacts a neighborhood the place they’re not current and never dwelling, versus one the place they’re?” Quinterno stated.

For now, Beyer says the corporate is experiencing sturdy progress and Hickory could be very a lot part of its future.

“I don’t have any particular numbers for you when it comes to the way it impacts Hickory apart from to say that we’ll be hiring in Hickory,” Beyer stated.

Beyer stated town gives a bonus for recruitment “as a result of it affords a sure way of life that you simply don’t get in an enormous metropolis and I feel there’s some folks which are drawn to that they usually don’t need to be a part of an enormous metropolis, particularly after COVID.”

Beyer added that Transportation Perception is dedicated to accommodating staff, saying, “Individuals select to reside somewhere else based mostly on their households and their private preferences, and we need to be an employer that helps that.”

Many Hickory-area staff are presently benefiting from that flexibility. Beyer estimates about one-third of the corporate’s staff come into the workplace in a given week whereas the remainder work remotely.

Beyer additionally spoke positively of town’s revitalization efforts by means of tasks such because the Metropolis Stroll and Riverwalk. Transportation Perception founder Paul Thompson was a serious backer of the $40 million bond referendum handed in 2014 to help these and different tasks.

“I feel for a medium-sized city, it’s completed an incredible job to create the facilities which are required to maintain companies like ours there,” Beyer stated.

He stated the corporate acquired no incentives to entice them to maneuver the company headquarters and that there aren’t any incentives town may provide that might hold the headquarters in Hickory.

The corporate has been supplied incentives throughout its time in Hickory.

In 2014, as the corporate was getting ready to maneuver the headquarters to its present location on the previous Lyerly Mill, the Hickory Metropolis Council authorized an settlement offering the corporate as much as $280,000 in tax incentives if the corporate met sure efficiency obligations.

Nevertheless, Nathan Huret, the director for Current Trade Providers on the Catawba County Financial Growth Company, stated the corporate by no means claimed any of that cash.

“Though we sincerely anticipate the corporate greater than met the contractual obligations of funding, jobs and wages, the corporate by no means formally filed for any of these potential native {dollars},” Huret stated. “The native grants successfully closed out one to 2 years in the past with no native {dollars} paid.”

When requested why that was the case, Nira Gale, the corporate’s vp of communications, stated the corporate doesn’t “have any information of that call.”

Virginia Annable contributed to this story.

Kevin Griffin is the Metropolis of Hickory reporter on the Hickory Every day File.