July, 2010 Archives
Governor Mitch Daniels joined executives from technology services firm, Miller Consulting Group, to announce the company will expand its operations in Noblesville, IN creating up to 230 new jobs by the end of 2013. The company, which provides computer-aided design and engineering services for the aerospace, defense and medical device industries, plans to invest $2.1 million in computer software, hardware and equipment. According to Inside INdiana Business, the company will lease a portion of the historic Model Mill building on Mulberry Street. “Days like today can’t come often enough in Indiana; hundreds of high-quality jobs in downtown Noblesville is certainly reason to celebrate,” said Daniels. Miller Consulting Group will begin hiring engineers, managers, technicians and IT personnel immediately. “We’ve been fortunate to establish some great client relationships out of state and while we considered moving our headquarters to be closer to them, we also realized the many benefits of staying in Indiana,” said Dale Miller, Miller Consulting president. “We sincerely appreciated the way that the Hamilton County Alliance, the city of Noblesville and the state of Indiana supported our project and decision to grow in Indiana.” Miller Consulting Group’s latest expansion comes on the heels of the company’s announced plans to open a Warsaw office to serve orthopedic manufacturing customers. The company expects to hire up to 25 computer-assisted design and engineering technicians by year-end. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Miller Consulting up to $2.5 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $120,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. The city of Noblesville will consider additional property tax abatement.
Saratoga Potato Chips, with international headquarters in Brampton, Ontario, is investing $4.9 million to establish a U.S. headquarters in Allen County, IN. The facility in Fort Wayne, which will be completed in 2013, will create 175 jobs. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. will provide $1 million in Economic Development for a Growing Economy tax credits for the project over a 10-year period. The company makes traditional potato chips, kettle chips and popcorn. With about $27 million in sales last year, its arrival is significant, said Ashley Steenman, senior development officer with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance. Saratoga’s owner, Peter Margie, also owns Olde York Potato Chips, which has a facility in Allen County. But the new business will be under the Saratoga name, making chips and perhaps popcorn for store brands, Steenman said. It will move into a 138,000-square-foot building that has been vacant for some time, she said. “Saratoga’s Indiana headquarters gives us closer proximity to our U.S. customers, many of which are located in the Midwest. State and local officials have created an excellent business environment that made our decision to locate in Indiana an easy one,” Steenman said. Allen County Council will consider phasing in taxes associated with the project. Saratoga could save nearly $131,520 on real and personal property taxes over seven years. The company is also eligible for $10,000 in recruitment and assessment services, $125,000 in job-specific training, and $10,000 in computer training services from WorkOne Northeast.
The national battle among states to lure entertainment industry dollars has intensified this month, with several states upping the ante in film production tax credits whiles others are dropping out of the competition. On July 1, Florida became the latest state to offer generous tax incentives to motion picture, TV documentary and digital media producers. Florida activated its Entertainment Industry Incentives Program, which offers a total of $242 million in transferable tax credits over the next five years for projects that locate in the Sunshine State. More than $50 million of these credits are earmarked for the 2010/2011 fiscal year. Florida’s Office of Film & Entertainment has begun accepting applications for the Entertainment Industry Financial Incentive program via electronic submission for projects with a principal photography or project start within 180 days of the application date (principal photography or project start date must be July 1, 2010 or later to qualify). The priority for qualifying/certifying projects for tax credit awards is determined on a first-come, first-served basis within its appropriate queue. Eligible productions include films, TV, documentaries, digital media projects, commercials and music videos. About 33 states have adopted tax incentives to spur entertainment industry production in their venues, but some budget-strapped states are having second thoughts about the value of these programs. Included in the passage last week of New Jersey’s $28.4 billion budget is the suspension of tax credits for film and digital media content production in the Garden State. New Jersey had offered a 20 percent tax credit since 2006, but the votes to approve the budget by the state’s Assembly and Senate eliminated it effective July 1. About $15 million will be raised as a result of the suspension, part of Gov. Chris Christie’s first budget as the state’s chief executive. Producers, actors and others involved with two network TV shows that filmed in New Jersey—“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Mercy”—lobbied at a public hearing early last month to save the credit. Producers of the former have already said they intend to relocate production across the river to New York, which is considering raising its film incentives pool to $420 million despite a multi-billion-dollar budget deficit crisis.
The U.S. Postal Service was at it again this week, banging its tin cup and trying to buy more time to reinvent a dying business model while confronting a growing annual budget deficit that now exceeds $7 billion. However, before we see the blueprint for moving our 19th century postal system into the 21st, the nation’s mail carriers apparently need some more triage. They are asking us to pony up another two cents for a first-class stamp—the sixth time the price of stamps has increased in the past 10 years. On Jan. 2, the price of a first-class stamp will be 46 cents, which is almost twice as much as it cost to buy a stamp in 1990. But you won’t be able to tell this by looking at a stamp, because the Postal Service stopped putting the price on its stamps years ago. This sad news was accompanied by a laughable a bit of public relations balm: in addition to the first-class rate increase (expected to raise $3 billion), the Postal Service will be issuing some special “forever” stamps. The “forever” stamps, adorned with evergreens, will remain permanently priced at 44 cents, with one caveat: you can only use them during the Christmas holiday crunch. What’s next, specially priced stamps for Mother’s Day cards going to Toledo? The Postal Service eliminated the equivalent of 50,000 jobs this year and began the process of closing nearly 10 percent of its facilities. Unfortunately, these measures have had about as much of an impact on the flow of red ink as one of BP’s oil-leak containment caps. Before the latest stamp price increase was announced, trial balloons were briefly floated proposing to eliminate Saturday mail deliveries and cut back on postal workers’ pensions. These lead balloons were quickly shot down, especially the latter, which made the postal workers’ union go…well, postal. After spending more than 20 years watching UPS and FedEx eat its lunch in the overnight and two-day delivery market —most of those U.S. Postal Service overnight boxes they tout on TV actually are flown by the private carriers—the Postal Service is now watching the World Wide Web devour what’s left. In just the past 12 months, the amount of snail mail has declined by almost 13 percent. It is not a stretch to suggest that the only remaining profit centers for the U.S.P.S. are those fake government letters touting mortgage refinancing and the fake “pay to the order of” checks that car dealers spew out. Come to think of it, that’s probably […]
CT&T, a Korean-based world leader in manufacturing electric vehicles, is forming a joint venture with 2AM Group of Spartanburg, SC to build electric cars in the state. The venture, called CT&T Southeast LLC, will invest $21 million and create 370 new jobs to support its production over the next five years. Company officials project the Spartanburg County facility to be fully operational by the fourth quarter of this year. “Upstate South Carolina is an ideal location for our first North American assembly facility,” said CT&T Chief Executive Officer Young Gi Lee. “We are very happy to be located in an area that provides automotive infrastructure, a skilled workforce and proximity to markets that are prime targets for electric vehicle ownership.” Under the joint venture agreement, CT&T will manufacture its flagship e ZONE and c ZONE vehicles in South Carolina. The e ZONE electric low speed vehicle offers a range of up to 70 miles in a single charge through its advanced technology lithium polymer battery. The advanced lithium polymer battery provides twice the mileage and lifespan of traditional lead acid batteries, and is 30 percent smaller and lighter. The c ZONE line consists of a range of low speed electric off-road and street legal LSVs. They have applications for commercial use and are ideal neighborhood transportation for planned communities and resort properties. “We are delighted to be part of the history making for South Carolina and CT&T to produce and distribute their vehicles throughout the U.S.,” stated Artie Perry, president and CEO of 2AM Group. “We feel that our knowledge and presence in the automotive industry will factor well in generating a good start up here, and we look forward to adding additional jobs in South Carolina where we are headquartered,” Perry added, “we know we will make a success with all the efforts from the state and county behind us.” Gov. Mark Sanford welcomed CT&T to South Carolina noting, “Today serves as a reminder that South Carolina is making strides even in these challenging economic times. This announcement represents not only a significant investment and hundreds of new jobs, but also another step toward expanding our state’s role in next generation technologies.” CT&T Southeast will locate its new assembly facility in the Hwy. 290 Commerce Park in Duncan, SC, in coordination with the existing 2AM facility allowing for total building access of over 300,000 square feet. CT&T currently has U.S. operations in Atlanta, GA and Long Beach, CA. CT&T Company Ltd. is located in Seoul, Korea with manufacturing facilities […]
The state, Montrose County, the Montrose Economic Development Corp. and the city of Montrose are prepared to offer a package of incentives to an international manufacturing company, which officials are declining to identify until a deal is struck. County spokeswoman Kristin Scuderi said the company is headquartered outside the U.S. and intends to move to North America. She said the company has narrowed the locations it is considering to Montrose and one other city she did not know. The company would immediately create 40 new jobs and a total of 200 within two to three years, making it one of the largest employers in Montrose, said Sandy Head, president and executive director of the Montrose Economic Development Corp. She said the company’s average annual wage is $49,000, about 50 percent more than Montrose County’s average annual wage of $32,800. Head wrote an e-mail to Montrose Economic Development Corp. investors, seeking their support. She described the company’s clientele as “very high-end” and said they’re based both in the U.S. and outside the country. She wrote that the company’s customers will travel to and stay in Montrose for several days and possibly purchase second homes in the area. Scuderi said the county’s unemployment rate has been above the national average, so the introduction of new jobs would be a boom to the unemployed. Head said Wednesday the Montrose Economic Development Corp. has been working for seven months to try to lure the company to Montrose. She said officials hope to know whether the company will select Montrose in the next four to six weeks. Head said a number of incentives are being dangled in front of the company. She said the state and the Montrose Economic Development Corp. are offering cash through a state job-training program, performance-based incentives and enterprise zone tax credits. The county is proposing a property tax credit and another incentive, while the city is offering breaks on development and permit fees, she said.