The Urban Outfitters call center that opened in Augusta, Ga., last month has already announced that it will be hiring 20 more workers. Perhaps we are finally emerging from a time when all we ever heard about was businesses downsizing.
Urban Outfitters—which also includes such popular brands as Anthropologie and Free People—says that it has not only grown over the past few years, but it also promises that it will continue to grow, and, with it, so will the Augusta economy.
Bryan Whitney, director of the Urban Outfitters contact center, told staff writer Jenna Martin of The Augusta Chronicle, “Our normal growth rate is about 30 percent, and that’s been the standard year over year.” Ironically, Urban Outfitters’ plans for growth do not include a retail store in the Augusta area.
The growth will not be stopping with the company’s 20 new employees. Workers who are looking for some extra money for Christmas will be happy to discover that the contact center has plans to hire 120 seasonal workers. Within the next five years, Whitney estimates that the center will create 400 jobs. At this time, the majority of the jobs listed on the Urban, Inc. website are for retail positions.
And Augusta may soon be seeing even more jobs. Martin reports that that the clothing retailer was one of the first companies to “take advantage of Columbia County’s ‘opportunity zone’ designation,” which she says was adopted in August of 2011 and applies to “an older commercial corridor” off of the Bobby Jones Expressway. Businesses that create a minimum of two jobs receive a $3,500 tax break for each position that they develop, make it well worth it for businesses to look into the area.
With the current staff at Urban Outfitters’ contact center (which, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, is 205 employees strong) and its projected growth, the company should be receiving significant tax breaks from the state.
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