Oct. 05--Tuesday's announcement that cable television giant Charter Communications will build a 15-story headquarters building in Stamford is good news for the whole state.
The company plans to add 1,100 new jobs and spend $100 million in Connecticut over the next few years, according to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office.
Just what the doctor ordered. New jobs and new residents are badly needed.
But the deal does come at a small cost: The state Department of Economic and Community Development is giving Charter a 10-year, $10 million low-interest loan to sweeten the deal. If the company creates and maintains a certain number of jobs, the loan could be forgiven -- a standard deal that comes back to Connecticut in economic activity, tax revenue and more.
Charter also got up to $10 million in tax credits, and more money is hanging from DECD's branches "if the company exceeds job targets," according to a release.
The deal will be a real success story if it can help bring more businesses like Charter to the state. Back in 2011, Gov. Malloy's initial "First Five" program gave a $20 million loan to NBC Sports Group to move to Stamford, and the network built a $100 million headquarters there that opened in 2013. If Charter's move is riding that momentum, then the investment is paying off.
But the cable TV industry is a volatile place. "Cord-cutting" customers are ditching cable in growing numbers and streaming content instead. Charter is fighting this battle with the rest of the major cable companies, and while it's losing TV customers, it's gaining internet subscribers.
The next decade will be a wild ride for the industry, but we hope Charter and other companies find Connecticut a good place to fight their battles.
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