By the BF Staff
From the January/February 2017 Issue
At the recent Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Keith Higginbotham, President of Gamo Outdoor USA and Daisy, along with Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced an expansion of the current Daisy plant at 308 West Stribling Drive in Rogers, AR.
The expanded facility will serve as U.S. headquarters for both Daisy and Gamo Outdoor USA. Through this expansion, the two companies will create approximately 25 new jobs over the next two years. Daisy currently has 65 employees at the Rogers facility along with 20 seasonal workers.
The consolidated operations of these two well-known lines of airguns and accessories will require additional square footage to be built at the corner of Second Street and Stribling Drive.
“This relocation, consolidation and expansion is a positive move for our family of outdoor sports companies,” stated Keith Higginbotham. “Having our management team, warehouse and shipping operations under one roof will bring efficiencies to our operation and strengthen our ability to better serve our retail customers and consumers. The team at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Rogers Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce understood not only our desire to keep Daisy in Rogers but our need to relocate people and inventory, and invest in a facility that will best accommodate our growing operations.”
Daisy, currently celebrating 130 years in the airgun business, has called Rogers, AR, home since 1958 and has maintained its headquarters and warehouse facility at West Stribling Drive since 1999, making products for young adult airgun hobbyists. Gamo is a premier global provider of high-end adult airguns and accessories, distributing its products in 85 countries. Key management from Gamo Outdoor USA’s former Ft. Lauderdale, FL, offices will relocate to Rogers, as will several warehouse and customer service managers currently working at the company’s Texas and Missouri distribution facilities.
“It’s an honor to join Daisy and Gamo Outdoor USA as they share plans to grow in the state. We are home to a workforce with the specific skills needed to manufacture their products, and a central location that allows these companies to ship products throughout the U.S. and world efficiently,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson
Gamo and Daisy airguns enjoy excellent placement with farm and home, big box sporting goods and firearms stores, discount stores and online retailers. The investment of these two premier high profile airgun brands, Gamo and Daisy, in this expanded facility, further solidifies Rogers, AR’s reputation as the premier headquarters of the airgun industry in the U.S.
SOLFUELS ACQUIRES HELENA PLANT
Solfuels USA has acquired a 40-million-gallon capacity biomass-based diesel refinery located on a 38.2-acre property in Helena, AR. The facility has the ability to handle truck, rail and barges alongside the Mississippi river. Solfuels USA LLC plans to retrofit of this facility to use multi-feedstocks; the new plant is expected to be fully operational beginning in the second quarter of 2017. This venture will create up to 15 new jobs.
Solfuels, a biodiesel trader operating from Singapore, has been contracting to manufacture biodiesel for export to both Europe and the USA for many years; this joint venture with Hong Kong-based Agritrade Resources is their first plant acquisition in the U.S. “We believe that an acquisition of a plant in the USA, together with a strong partner like Agritrade Resources, is the perfect combination and timing as [federal are] creating a much larger market for Biomass-based biodiesel,” said Henri J. Bardon, CEO of Solfuels USA.
He added, “The location of this plant 60 miles south of Memphis, with its multi-modal logistical capabilities, makes it an ideal location from which to distribute biodiesel.”
INCENTIVES GALORE IN MONTICELLO
Monticello Economic Development Commission works with prospective companies to develop a local incentive package based on facilities investment and number of new jobs created. This package can include:
- Companies utilizing either tax-exempt or taxable industrial revenue bond financing may negotiate for a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT). The negotiated payment can be up to 65 percent, but not less than 35 percent of the property taxes that would have been paid if the property were on the tax rolls.
- Eligibility for MEDC-owned industrial park sites/spec building acquisition
- A water main tap fee provision
Statewide performance-based incentives also are available. Arkansas incentives are nationally competitive and user-friendly.
The Consolidated Incentive Act of 2003 updated many of Arkansas’ incentive programs to locate them under one code of law, making the combination of incentives more flexible. Arkansas’s job-creation incentives are based on payroll instead of number of jobs and use a tier system to determine the qualification criteria and benefits (Drew County and Monticello are Tier 3), depending on where the business locates or expands their operations in Arkansas. Arkansas’ tier system ranks each county, based on poverty rate, unemployment, per capita income and population growth. Tiers are assigned annually on July 1, based on the previous year’s statistics.
In addition to an array of competitive incentives, when a business locates in Arkansas, it can take advantage of the following additional benefits:
- Favorable unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation rates;
- A reduced sales tax rate on manufacturing utilities;
- A sales/use tax exemption on manufacturing machinery and equipment;
- A right-to-work state, as guaranteed by the Arkansas Constitution; and
- Favorable individual and corporate income tax rates.