Daily News Archives
Officials in Genesee County, Mi say they have not received any applications for more than $60 million in available federal stimulus bonds. The deadline is today, unless state lawmakers approve an extension to July 1. The low-interest loans were made available in June 2009 to hard-hit communities to help stimulate the economy by making money available for special projects and developments. The deadline to draw down the funds is December 31 of this year. If the proposed July 1 deadline is approved by lawmakers, anyone interested in using the funds would have to go through the state. For now, all applications have to go through the Genesee County Economic Development Corp. County officials oppose the July 1 deadline and actually are hoping the federal government will extend the end-of-year deadline, but until then they’re willing to help push projects through as quickly as possible, Genesee County Controller George Martini said. Of the at least $60 million available, $53 million of it is in tax-exempt facility bonds available for private borrowers that can be used for commercial and industrial projects that usually would not qualify for tax-exempt financing — such as large manufacturing plants, distribution centers, hotels or research parks. As of last week, there had been no requests in Genesee County to borrow any of the $53 million in facility bonds, said Janice Karcher, who heads up economic development at the chamber.
Eberspaecher North America plans to open a new automotive facility in Greenville County, SC with an investment of $5 million and the initial creation of 30 jobs to provide exhaust systems for BMW Manufacturing Co’s new X3 sports activity vehicle. The announcement was made Wednesday by the South Carolina Department of Commerce and Greenville Area Development Corp. Plans are to begin full production in August, said Gerri Taylor, human relations spokesman for the Mauldin facility at 65 Brookfield Oaks, Mauldin. Dennis Berry, president and chief executive of Michigan-based Eberspaecher North America, said, “The location will put us very close to our customer, BMW, and provide us with an excellent business environment in which to operate. We look forward to starting operations there and appreciate all the support we have received from state and local officials.” BMW is moving production of the X3 from Austria to the Greer plant later this year as it completes a $750 million expansion of the facility, which includes a new assembly facility and expansion of the paint shop. The plant also produces the X5 sports activity vehicle and the X6 sports activity coupe. Eberspaecher’s Mauldin facility will be the Germany-based company’s first South Carolina location. It also has operations in Alabama, Michigan and Ontario, Canada. Joe Taylor, state secretary of commerce, hailed the move. “We continue to see growth in the state’s automotive sector as more suppliers locate operations here, and Eberspaecher North America is the latest example,” he said. “South Carolina affords exceptional access, not only to manufacturers like BMW, but to markets throughout the Southeast. Couple that with a skilled workforce and a world-class port in Charleston, and it is no wonder more companies are bringing their business to the Palmetto State.”
“A man’s errors are his portals of discovery.” – James Joyce Let’s face it, the past two years have been brutal for the denizens of Detroit. Two of Motown’s mighty Big Three automakers went belly up and nearly sank in the depths of the Great Recession before being rescued by a federal bailout. Detroit became the unofficial unemployment capital of America, bottoming out at nearly 20 percent. The mayor was sent to the slammer. If ever there was a city that needed a lift, a kind word, something to cheer about, it’s Detroit. On a sunny June afternoon, they almost got it. Out of what seemed to be the pages of a well-worn Hollywood script came Armando Gallarraga. Armando bounced around Major League Baseball as a journeyman pitcher for a couple of years before getting an audition this spring with the Detroit Tigers. The 28-year-old Venezuelan native had a rough spring training, losing out in a competition for the final spot in the Tigers’ rotation. Armando began the season with the Tiger’s Triple-A minor league squad, the aptly named Toledo Mudhens. That’s where he was, toiling in obscurity in Toledo on May 16, when the call came from Detroit that the Tigers needed a fresh arm to bolster their injury-plagued staff. So Armando stepped onto the mound at Comerica Park on Wednesday afternoon to face the Cleveland Indians. Eight scoreless innings later, Armando found himself on the cusp of baseball history. Cleveland sent 24 batters to the plate and 24 batters quickly came back to the dugout. The reserve pitcher, who had never thrown a shutout — probably never dreamed about a no-hitter — was better than that. He was perfect. Three more outs, and Armando would join 20 other baseball immortals and achieve one of the rarest feats in baseball history. Three more outs, and the third perfect game of the season — all recorded within the same fortnight — would be in the books. That last factoid should have prepared us for what came next. Clearly, the baseball gods were toying with us. The first Cleveland batter in the ninth, Mark Grudzielanek, took a mighty cut at one of Armando’s offerings and sent it screaming into the nether regions of Comerica’s vast centerfield. Armando grabbed his head with his gloved hand and stared out into the abyss. The crowd and millions more watching on national television held their breath. Everyone waited for the ball to land with a sickening thud yards behind the desperately racing outfielders. Armando’s perfect […]
New Jersey has launched a privately funded nonprofit to market the state. The $2 million effort, called Choose New Jersey, has recruited 15 local corporations to help promote and facilitate business attraction, retention and expansion. The new organization was announced at the New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co. in West Trenton this week. Choose New Jersey is part of Gov. Chris Christie’s New Jersey Partnership for Action, a three-prong approach to revitalizing the state’s economy. Sixteen business leaders sit on its board and have made a three-year commitment to serve as ambassadors to business and industry and further business attraction and retention initiatives. That commitment includes $150,000 per company, per year, for three years, which will give Choose New Jersey a roughly $2 million annual operating budget. A search is under way for a “world class economic development expert” who will come in and put a team in place, Verizon NJ President Dennis Bone, interim chair of the organization, told Philadelphia BusinessJournal. “When we benchmarked New Jersey to other states we found out New Jersey wasn’t in the game, was not in the game when it came to selecting and attracting businesses to the state, programs to keep businesses here. There is so much more we can do in this area and that is the mission of Choose New Jersey,” Bone said. Under Christie’s state budget plan, all of the components of the state’s Economic Development Authority would be moved into a group that would serve as the one-stop shopping arm of the New Jersey Partnership for Action, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said. The Lieutenant Governor’s Office and Secretary of State would be the government arm of the partnership, she said. Christie said announcements would be made in the next couple of weeks regarding companies that the state is courting. Christie said his team is regularly reaching out to CEOs, and had three calls planned that afternoon. In addition to Bone, Choose New Jersey’s members include: Joe Colalillo, president, Wakefern Food Corp.; Don Correll, CEO and president, American Water; Robert H. Doherty, state president, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO, New Jersey Resources; Bernard Flynn, president and CEO, NJM Insurance Group; Edward Graham, president and CEO, South Jersey Industries; Rev. M. William Howard, pastor, Bethany Baptist Church; Robert J. Iacullo, president and chief operating officer, United Water; Bob Hugin, Celgene president and COO; Ralph Izzo, chairman and CEO, PSE&G ; Vincent Maione, president, Atlantic City Electric; William J. Marino, chairman and CEO, Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield […]
Gov. Steve Beshear today joined company and community leaders in Bowling Green to announce the expansion of Topura America Fastener. A manufacturer of automotive and industrial fasteners, Topura America Fastener will add 30 new jobs in phases over the next three years, bringing their total employment at the Bowling Green plant to 95. Additionally, the company will invest $9.34 million as a result of the expansion and continual improvement in processes and technology. “Topura America Fastener’s expansion is a good example of Kentucky’s strength in the automotive supplier industry,” said Gov. Beshear. “The creation of 30 new jobs and a multi-million dollar investment that will more than double the size of the company’s Bowling Green plant will have a significant impact on the entire region.” Topura America Fastener will be adding 96,000 square feet to its existing 71,966 square-foot facility. The company will also install new equipment and make other improvements that will allow them to increase manufacturing capabilities and improve product flow. “Topura America Fastener is extremely excited about today’s announcement and for the opportunity of organizational growth in a challenging economic time period,” said Darrell Oakley, Topura executive vice president. “The expansion will secure an increase in both job opportunities and process investments for today and long term. We appreciate everyone’s support during this process, especially that of Governor Beshear, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce.” The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Topura America Fastener for tax incentives up to $675,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The incentive can be earned over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments. KEDFA also approved the company for up to $75,000 in tax benefits through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, an incentive program that allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on the cost of construction materials, building fixtures and equipment used for research and development. “Bowling Green congratulates Topura on their announcement today,” said Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker. “Their expansion reflects the great working environment and strong work ethic we enjoy here in South Central Kentucky.” “It’s another great day here in South Central Kentucky because of today’s announcement,” said Warren County Judge Executive Michael Buchanon. “We thank Topura for their continued commitment to doing business here.”
President Obama’s announcement last week indefinitely suspending work at 33 deepwater drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico has state officials in the Gulf region making dire forecasts of potential job losses as a result of the shutdown. The president imposed a moratorium on operations at the deepest offshore drilling operations in the wake of BP’s disaster in the Gulf, which has poured an estimated 39 million gallons of crude oil into the ecosystem in the wake of the explosion and sinking of BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig in April. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that 22 of the 33 rigs covered by the president’s order are off the coast of Louisiana. Moret added that it is possible that some of the remaining 11 could be rigs that were scheduled to start operations in Louisiana waters in the next few months. Moret has three scenarios for how bad the moratorium could be for Louisiana’s economy: In the near term, Moret believes the state will lose 3,000 to 6,000 direct and indirect jobs; if the suspensions are maintained, this could rise to 10,000 jobs; and if the moratorium persists while oil prices rise, the state could lose 20,000 jobs over the next 12 to 18 months in the form of lost direct and indirect jobs, and missed job creation opportunities because rising petroleum prices stimulate more energy development. “There’s definitely a real risk that some of these rigs could be moved outside of the Gulf of Mexico because of the cost of keeping them idle, the regulatory uncertainty and opportunities in other parts of the world, ” Moret told the Times-Picayune. Others are convinced that rigs will be floated to foreign waters, and if they’re moved, it will take two to three years for the equipment to finish up its new contracts elsewhere and come back. “The drilling equipment and the rigs, if they know that they can’t work for the next six months, they’ll re-deploy to the rest of the world. It will be a lot longer than the next six months, ” said Otto Candies III, secretary/treasurer of the Des Allemands marine transport company Otto Candies LLC.
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 […]
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.
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 […]