Kerry Group Expands in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will issue a $1.5 million forgivable loan to support the company’s $20 million expansion investments across the state. About $8 million of that will go toward improving and expanding operations at the 264,000-square-foot Customer Center of Excellence, located in Beloit’s Gateway Business Park.
“Since opening in 2009, the Kerry Customer Center in Beloit has helped us successfully develop and deliver new innovative business-building solutions for our customers,” Jim Egan, director of communications for Kerry, said in a press release.
He said the project will increase investment in research and development, and customer service.
David Volz, a spokesman for the WEDC, said Kerry will not have to repay the loan unless the company falls short of its job creation projections.
On the local level, the City of Beloit will extend the duration of a pre-existing direct developer Incentive package and provide a one-time $50,000 grant for paying training expenses for new employees.
When Kerry moved to its facility in the Gateway Business Park in 2009, the City of Beloit offered the company a “pay as you go” DDI incentive, in which 35 percent of Kerry’s annual real and property taxes are paid out in annual installments over the course of 10 years. Due to the new expansion and job creation plans, the city will extend this program to 11 years.
Andrew Janke, executive director of the Greater Beloit Economic Development Corporation, said incentives like this are important to retaining and building business in Beloit.
“The City of Beloit tries to be aggressive when it comes to business retention,” he said. “Kerry is one of our major employers. We do what we can to keep them here and to keep them growing.”
Kerry plans to add 67 jobs across the state, 47 of which will be in Beloit. Currently, the business employs about 800 throughout Wisconsin.
James Otterstein, the Rock County economic development manager, said Kerry’s Beloit operations affect many others around Wisconsin.
“This is an important project with statewide supply chain considerations. We are fortunate, as well as extremely grateful, to have the opportunity to work closely and collaboratively with an industry leader like Kerry as they continually expand their Wisconsin operations,” he said.
Gov. Scott Walker serves as chair of the WEDC board. He has said he will create 250,00 jobs in his first four years as governor.
“I’m pleased the WEDC is able to assist the company in a significant investment that will benefit the state’s economy,” he said in a government press release.
Kerry Ingredients and Flavours is a division of Kerry Group Plc. Founded in 1972 in Listowel, Ireland, the company has grown into an international supplier of the worldwide food and beverage industry.