5 years ago
A small news item caught our eye the other day, and we hope it is a sign of the times. This is what it said: “Twinsburg, Ohio and Solon, Ohio, have agreed to limit the tax incentives they can offer to lure businesses away from each other, hoping rather that economic development for both communities will improve with regional cooperation.” These two neighbors in the Buckeye State are on to something that is much more important than simply declaring a partial truce in their competition to secure new businesses for their communities. The unity of purpose they have embraced is sorely needed everywhere, for challenges big and small. This same spirit can keep the world from tipping over the precipice of proliferating weapons of mass destruction. It can lift regions and nations out of an all-encompassing economic malaise. It can convert destructive gases into renewable resources that will not threaten our most precious lands and oceans. It might even convince our leaders to put aside their political mudfights and conduct the public’s business to the benefit of all. And it can honor a courageous heritage bestowed upon us from those who came before us. It is our responsibility to preserve this legacy and deliver it unbroken to the generations to come. On Monday, we will remember all of those who came together and made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our liberty. Their common purpose and courage is a beacon that lights our way as we move past the dark shadows that threaten our future. It is up to us to lift that beacon and carry it forward, which can only be done together. Have a great holiday, everyone.
The Illinois General Assembly has passed—with overwhelming bipartisan support—an Angel Tax Credit that incentivizes early-stage investment in Illinois technology companies. The governor is expected to sign the bill (SB 2093) or a second measure (SB 3710) with an identical Angel Tax Credit sent over to the Senate yesterday by the House. The legislation, which when enacted will be effective on January 1, 2011, provides “angel” and early-stage institutional investors with a capped 25 percent credit against state taxes when the investors provide funding to small, early-stage technology firms. The effort to enact the credit was led statewide over a two-year period by the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO), which built a large statewide coalition in support of the measure. iBIO’s President and CEO David Miller hailed the bill’s passage as a major step forward. “Today’s most powerful job engines are small innovative firms. Yesterday Illinois took a huge step in helping to create and attract those companies,” he said. “It’s great news for our economic recovery and for the future of Illinois.” The Kauffman Foundation, National Academies of Science, Brookings Institute and others have identified small innovative companies as the keys to global competitiveness and job creation, identifying them as major drivers of tax revenues and needed public services. Although Illinois is a leading state for many types of basic research, it has lagged other states in providing supportive programs for early-stage technology firms. “The Angel Tax Credit constitutes a big step in changing that situation,” Miller said. “The sleeping giant is waking up.” Miller praised members of the state General Assembly. Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) authored the bill that passed and pushed relentlessly for its passage. According to Miller,“Senator Kotowski deserves great credit and the community’s heartfelt thanks.” The primary legislative champion for the Angel Tax Credit and other startup programs in the General Assembly over the last two years, Miller said, was Rep. Susana Mendoza (D-Chicago). “Rep. Mendoza is an inexhaustible champion for building jobs and prosperity in Illinois,” Miller said. “She created a remarkable coalition of advocates in the House and worked with the leadership, other legislators and Governor Quinn’s office to make this happen. Illinois’ innovation community couldn’t ask for a better supporter.” “To make important changes in state policy, you need tireless leadership. iBIO provided that leadership. Without iBIO’s unflagging devotion to the twin causes of technology startups and job creation, this never would have happened. Illinois is a better place to do business today because of iBIO,” responded Rep. Mendoza. According to House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie […]
Intrasphere Technologies, which provides consulting services to the life sciences industry, plans to relocate its offices to Jersey City, NJ next month, the Star-Ledger reports. The company intends to move 120 existing jobs to offices in the Harborside Plaza 10 building and plans to add another 180 jobs over the next two years. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority awarded the company a grant worth $12.4 million over the next 10 years (the money is paid out to the company as it creates the new jobs). Intrasphere plans to invest $965,000 in the relocation project. “New Jersey has made it clear to us that they are interested in our business and in helping Intrasphere to grow,’’ Samuel Goldman, the company’s co-founder and its chief operating officer, said in a press release issued by the economic development authority. “As a life sciences-focused company, it’s encouraging to be in the same state that many of our clients call home.’’ Goldman said the state’s Business Employment Incentive Program grant “was a key factor in having us make this decision.’’ Intrasphere, which was started in 1996, provides software and business services to life science companies, addressing such areas as drug safety, regulatory and business intelligence. In addition to its corporate offices, the company has a location in London.
It took four ballots—reducing the needed margin from two-thirds to a simple majority—but an historic joint bid by New York and New Jersey was rewarded yesterday with the selection of New Meadowlands Stadium as the site of Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014. Now, state and local officials are predicting that the first outdoor NFL championship in a cold-weather site in almost 50 years will result in an economic windfall approaching $1 billion for the nation’s largest metropolitan area. The recently opened $1.6-billion Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ was chosen over competing sites in Tampa and Miami, The new home of the Giants and Jets seats 82,500 and just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. A major part of the NY/NJ bid for the 2014 Super Bowl was the attraction of hosting related events during the weekend of the game in famous venues in New York City, with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop. “A New York Super Bowl has been years in the making. This is a great day for fans of the Giants, Jets, NFL and New York,” New York Gov. David Paterson said. “Together, we are going to put on the greatest show in the history of professional football. This historic game will bring thousands of visitors and pump millions into the local economy. The bright lights of Broadway will shine on the gladiators of the gridiron. I want to thank Commissioner Roger Goodell and the rest of the NFL for recognizing that this grand event needed a truly grand stage.” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg added: “In 2014, the world’s biggest game will take place on the world’s biggest stage. We’re the City that hosted ‘the greatest game ever played’ more than 50 years ago, and we’ll be ready for Super Bowl XLVIII. Our restaurants, stores and hotels will be ready. Our pubs, cafes and attractions will be ready.” And if it snows? “We’ll be ready for that too–this isn’t beach volleyball…it’s football!” declared the NYC mayor. Just in case, New York will call on the Department of Transportation, State Turnpike Authority, and New York City Department of Sanitation to stand ready for snow removal, he added. The NFL waived it’s requirement that Super Bowl venues promise a minimum temperature of 50 degrees F. in early February to host the big game. Based on an economic study conducted by Argus Group on behalf of the Jets and Giants football franchises, the New York Super Bowl will generate at least $550 million dollars of economic activity […]
The Ontario Technology Corridor is aggressively promoting at this week’s WINDPOWER 2010 conference in Dallas its $7-billion commitment to the development of alternative energy in Canada. Earlier this year, the Government of Ontario signed a $7-billion green energy investment agreement with a consortium created by Samsung C&T Corp.’s Trading and Investment Group and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). The Ontario renewable energy project, touted as the largest of its kind in the world, is being supported by Ontario Power Authority’s feed-in tariff (FIT) program. “For the wind industry, our most compelling attraction is the Ontario Power Authority’s feed-in tariff. It features North America’s first comprehensive guaranteed pricing structure for renewable electricity production, offering stable prices under long-term contracts for on-shore and off-shore wind, solar photovoltaic, biomass, biogas, landfill gas, and waterpower energy,” said Heather Pilot, director, Business Development, with the London Economic Development Corporation, an Ontario Technology Corridor partner. According to the terms of the green energy investment agreement, Samsung C&T and KEPCO will establish and operate a series of wind and solar power clusters over the next 20 years. The clusters, which will be built in several locations throughout the Canadian province, will eventually include wind turbines that will generate up to 2000 MW as well as solar power facilities that will generate up to 500 MW. The entire project will have a combined power-generating capacity of 2.5 GW by 2016, producing energy equivalent to four percent of Ontario’s total electricity consumption. Ontario is home to 110 head office clean technology companies that are predominantly engaged in the development and marketing and/or use of their own proprietary technology to deliver products or services that reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts. Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) projects that by 2015, these Ontario clean technology companies will generate revenues in excess of $1 billion. In addition there are over 2,800 environmental industry companies in Ontario, generating approximately $7 billion in revenue and employing 65,000 people.
Vitacost has decided to double its operations in Davidson County, NC. The company, based in Boca Raton, FL said it would add between 228 and 300 jobs over five years as it expands by 115,000 square feet at its complex in Lexington, according to a report in the Winston-Salem Journal . Vitacost is a manufacturer, distributor and online retailer of vitamins, and herbal and other health-supplements. Along with distributing such brand-name products as New Chapter, Atkins, Twinlab and Kashi, it makes and sells products under the Nutraceutical Sciences Institute, Cosmeceutical Sciences Institute, Smart Basics and Best of All brands. The company currently has 285 full-time and temporary employees at its 112,000-square-foot operation. Ira Kerker, Vitacost CEO, told the Journal the company will spend about $6.7 million on the infrastructure expansion, which it plans to complete by year’s end. He said that the company plans to add the bulk of jobs in its call-center, distribution, manufacturing and research-and-development units within two years. If it meets performance goals, Vitacost can collect $225,000 each from the city of Lexington and the county. It also will receive a $450,000 grant from the governor’s One North Carolina Fund—the sixth largest provided in the Triad since the program began in March 2001. “They hired more people than they said they would and made a bigger investment than they said they would,” said Steve Googe, the director of the Davidson County Economic Development Commission. “That’s the kind of performance that wins confidence.” Kerker said that Vitacost looked at options in Charlotte, South Carolina and Virginia as part of its goal of adding distribution space “within a three ship zone” for the major ground shippers. The average salary for the new jobs will be more than $30,000 a year, plus benefits.
A solar power company plans to build a manufacturing plant in the Las Vegas area, creating about 300 jobs in what officials say is an emerging industry for Nevada. The company, Amonix, announced the new facility at a press conference showing off a solar power generating plant built by Amonix at a Southern Nevada Water Authority facility. The location of the manufacturing facility has not been announced. Amonix CEO Brian Robertson said the company is considering three sites and expects to make a decision in the next few weeks. Once the site is selected, construction will begin immediately and the facility should be operational by the end of the year, Robertson said. The company already has facilities in Southern California but chose to expand in Southern Nevada. The company is also getting a $5.9 million tax credit as from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. “Nevada is a friendly place to do business. It’s less expensive than California,” Robertson said. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada said the new facility will help to diversify Nevada’s economy. “We know that we can’t depend forever on the gambling industry, leisure-time business, although it’s going to continue to thrive and do well,” Reid said. “Mining is good, but the one thing we haven’t looked to in the past is green energy. We’ve got a lot of it here and we’re going to continue to develop that.” “I’d like to have tens of thousands of people working on these jobs, but that’s coming,” Reid said. “I think the future is so bright for what we can do in Nevada with renewable energy.” The regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jared Blumenfeld, said Nevada will play a key role as the nation moves toward using more sustainable energy. “Many people think about solar power, they think about what it can look like on their rooftop, but very few understand that the future of solar power and renewable energy largely is going to be in this state and in Arizona,” Blumenfeld said. “When you think about the sunshine, this is where it is. These kinds of projects show us what can be done on a utilities scale. The amount of power here is really starting to be significant.” The solar plant unveiled Saturday is part of the water authority’s River Mountains Water Treatment Facility in Henderson. Its six concentrated photovoltaic panels are capable of producing 308 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power 50 medium-sized homes for a year, and unlike traditional solar power plants, they use […]
When we think of clean energy, we usually conjure up vast vistas of lush green fields and cloudless blue skies. This idyllic landscape is dotted with majestic wind turbines and an occasional green building clad in sparkling solar panels. We don’t think of cow droppings, but some enterprising folks at Hewlett Packard do. Researchers at Hewlett Packard Co.’s HP Labs presented a paper this week to an American Society of Mechanical Engineers conference postulating on the feasibility of using cow manure from dairy farms and cattle feedlots to generate electricity. In the paper, the research team calculates that “a hypothetical farm of 10,000 dairy cows” could power a 1 MW data center housing 1,000 servers. Our friends at Computerworld report HP’s engineers believe that biogas may offer a “fresh” alternative energy approach for IT managers. Don’t reach for your DHS-issued gas masks, yet. The HP technicians say at this point this is just a theory — no demonstration project has yet been planned. “I’ve not yet submitted a purchase order for cows,” Tom Christian, an HP researcher, told Computerworld. Organic matter is already used to generate power through a process called anaerobic digestion that produces a methane-rich biogas. Computerworld reports that the EPA estimates there are 125 operating digester projects at commercial livestock facilities in the U.S. HP’s paper suggests the process could be extended to run a data center. However, some observers already have noted significant stumbling blocks to this approach. For one thing, how do you get 10,000 cows to congregate in one location? The average dairy farm in the U.S. has about 1,000 cows, and even the largest do not pen more than 5,000 of the docile milk-producing beasts. Then there is the matter of biogas energy transmission. Do site selectors looking for data center locations really want to put their new facilities next to huge manure pits? Could make the walk to the parking lot rather dicey, to say the least. Also, since cows have two stomachs and re-chew their food, we imagine there might be some power outages at local data processing centers while everyone waits for them to do their business. Do we really want the IRS data center to have a blackout while it’s auditing our tax returns? We’ve got a better idea: Let’s require every fast-food restaurant in the U.S. to establish a biogas conversion facility onsite. The average American should be able to drive in, order, eat and generate the latest biofuel feedstock in less than five minutes, especially if one opts for […]
The CanAm Wind Energy initiative, a formal partnership between Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE), Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE), and Niagara Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) Canada, was announced today. CanAm Wind Energy will make its debut at the world’s largest annual event for wind energy, the 2010 Wind Power Conference and Exhibition. The conference takes place next week from May 23-26 in Dallas, TX. The initiative is being supported in part by a grant from National Grid. The three organizations have partnered to capitalize on the rapidly growing wind energy industry, which is expected to generate $60.8 billion in revenue by 2016. With the bi-national Rochester, Buffalo, and Niagara regions emerging as a top location for wind farm development, CanAm Wind Energy’s aim is to create more jobs and further diversify and strengthen the regional economies through new energy opportunities. “In today’s competitive economic environment, regional collaboration is key to economic success,” said GRE President and CEO Mark Peterson. “Through this partnership, the Greater Rochester, Buffalo, and Niagara Canada regions will be in a better position to compete globally for jobs and investment.” CanAm Wind Energy was formalized through a memorandum of understanding between the partnering agencies. The MOU spells out how the three groups will work with government leaders, businesses, universities and other not-for-profit economic development groups to ensure a united approach to attracting the wind industry. The effort will include promoting the bi-national region, connecting businesses with resources in the bi-national region, and leading appropriate initiatives to increase resources for new and established businesses. “Renewable energy is one of the few industry sectors that continue to show progress and potential for growth in the current economic climate,” said BNE President & CEO Thomas A. Kucharski. “As a result, it is also currently one of the most competitive sectors for business attraction, particularly in wind. This partnership will enhance the prospects for success for all three regions as site selectors and companies in this highly sought-after business look at much larger geographic regions for investment.” “The partnership combines the rich industrial assets, skilled workforce, advanced technologies, and strategic locations of our three regions, “ said NEDC Canada Chief Executive Officer Patrick Gedge. “We will be able to leverage these assets to serve the North American wind energy markets.” Shared and unique assets of the three entities forming the CanAm Wind Energy initiative are: a bi-national location, market access, existing supply chains, a well-developed transportation infrastructure, the skilled and affordable workforce, approximately 60 colleges and universities, workforce development programs, and the existence […]
Four companies are receiving tax credits from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to expand in Michigan, and the city of Flint is receiving support for a redevelopment project, MI Gov. Jennifer Granholm has announced. The projects are expected to create 910 direct and indirect jobs. “We are working tirelessly to bring new jobs to Michigan, going anywhere and doing anything to show companies that we have the tools and talent to help them grow,” Gov. Granholm said. “Today’s company announcements highlight the positive impact of our aggressive economic diversification plan.” The Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board approved incentives to win the following projects for Michigan over competing states and countries: • ConAgra Foods Packaged Foods LLC —The manufacturer of packaged foods plans to invest $73 million to expand in Kentwood, Michigan. The project is expected to create up to 460 new jobs, including 205 directly by the company. The Michigan Economic Growth Authority approved a state tax credit valued at $1.1 million over five years to help convince the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in Minnesota. • Grandpapa’s Inc. — The snack foods company plans to invest $4.1 million to expand and renovate a 130,000-square-foot facility in Detroit. The project is expected to create up to 269 total jobs, including 125 directly by the company. The company received a state tax credit valued at $368,358 over five years to encourage the company to expand in Michigan over a competing site in Indiana. • Proto Manufacturing Inc. — This engineering and manufacturing company plans to invest $5.2 million to relocate and expand its operations to a new 18,800-square-foot facility in Taylor, Michigan, to include in-house laboratory services. The project is expected to create up to 88 jobs, including 46 directly by the company. It received a state tax credit valued at $586,814 over seven years to encourage the company to expand in Michigan over competing sites in Ohio, South Carolina, Indiana and Tennessee. • TK Holdings Inc. — Takata Corporation’s North American headquarters, TK Holdings Inc., which manufactures automotive safety equipment, plans to invest $14.6 million to expand in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The company is expected to create up to 78 jobs, including 40 directly by the company. It received a state tax credit valued at $766,068 over eight years to convince the company to locate in Michigan over a competing site in Mexico. The MEGA board also approved state and local tax captures to allow the city of Flint to redevelop two vacant, blighted […]