by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None —
The gauntlet has been cast down.
Charlotte, whose leaders are trying to lure fruit giant Chiquita into the Queen City, and Cincinnati, whose leaders are trying to keep the company there, have taken to the streets of social media to attract the company and hundreds of jobs.
Both cities call themselves "The Queen City" and both want Chiquita to call them home because the headquarters meand 400 jobs with average annual salaries over $100,000.
While officials are offering big money and incentives to woo the company, regular citizens are using Twitter to attract lady with a hat made of fruit.
Brian Francis (@BrianDFrancis) is one of the people in Charlotte urging Chiquita to move south. He started tweeting and Chiquita's CEO responded to him, and encouraged him to tweet more.
"It caught me off guard a little bit, quite frankly," Francis said.
Christopher Stemborowski (@cjstem), who calls Charlotte home but lives several states away, was also tweeting for North Carolina's Queen City.
"It's not just the 400 jobs they would bring, but it's more money flowing into the stores, the coffee shops, the after school programs in that area that would imact everybody positively," he tweeted.
While the two cities have squared off digitally to attract Chiquita, the tweets have stayed mostly positive, with both sides extolling the virtues of their respective cities.
Others promise the sky -- literally -- and others promise Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton.
Some Cincy tweeters have targeted Charlotte as a "wasteland" and "a one-street town."
While Chiquita has not officially commented on the social campaigns, CEO Fernando Aguirre (@FdoAguirreCEO) has praised the work of both camps -- and he did it on Twitter.
Boca Raton, Fla., is also in the running for Chiquita's headquaters, but the city's residents have not mounted a campaign to challenge either Charlotte or Cincinnati.
Interested in participating?
Ohians for keeping the headquarters are using the hashtag #NoCincyBananaSplit, and Charlotteans are using #bananas4clt.