"The news is out there," Debi Moore, vice president of economic development for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, told the Lawrence-Douglas County Economic Development Board. "There have been a couple of companies that have said they don't want to be fired at.
"The word is out that we will be publicly looking at these abatements, which is not a bad idea, but some of the companies don't want to undergo that scrutiny."
Despite vocal opposition, Lawrence city commissioners approved the abatement. American Eagle later chose to build its distribution center in Ottawa instead.
After the meeting, Moore said a half-dozen site location consultants, who each represent a variety of industries, had told her about the controversy's lingering effects.
Moore said she couldn't name the specific companies that shied away from Lawrence, but their industries "run the gamut" from manufacturing to administrative office centers.
"You don't know how many are out there that haven't said anything," she said. "We really don't have any way to measure it."
-- Staff writer Joel Mathis can be reached at 832-7126.