Oklahoma Legislation Supports Manufacturers Impacted By Covid

HB4451 will help Oklahoma manufacturing companies impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In Durant, BrucePac kicks off a $22.5 million expansion project.

Oklahoma offers an Ad Valorem exemption for qualifying companies that invest in new, expanded or acquired manufacturing facilities for five years. Qualifying companies include manufacturing, research and development, warehouse and distribution, and certain computer/data processing companies that meet new investment and payroll creation thresholds.

Oklahoma Manufacturers
Governor Kevin Stitt (Source: Oklahoma Department of Commerce)

Normally, companies must maintain the payroll threshold for the entirety of the five-year program in order to maintain eligibility. Earlier this month, Governor Kevin Stitt signed HB4451 to help mitigate some of the burden felt by Oklahoma manufacturing companies due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Authored by Representatives Ryan Martinez and Kevin Wallace and Senators Chuck Hall and Roger Thompson, HB4451 adds an emergency provision allowing companies that temporarily dropped below the necessary payroll threshold during the 2020 calendar year to continue to qualify for the incentive.

“Due to the pandemic, many companies saw their labor forces shrink. While Oklahoma remained open for business during much of the pandemic, companies still faced cancelled contracts, supply chain bottlenecks and other issues that caused them to initiate layoffs,” said Brent Kisling, Executive Director, Oklahoma Department of Commerce. “I applaud the authors of this bill, as well as Speaker Pro Tempore Kyle Hilbert who heard concerns from Oklahoma companies and initiated this legislation.”

“Companies who through no fault of their own were forced to reduce or eliminate their income during the pandemic should not be punished by the state of Oklahoma,” said Representative Kyle Hilbert, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. “This legislation proves to the world that Oklahoma is open for business and when we give our word to industry, we keep it.”

Gov. Stitt signed HB4451 on March 14, 2022, and it went into effect immediately.

BrucePac Investing $22.5 Million In Durant Expansion

Also this month, BrucePac held an official groundbreaking ceremony at the company’s food processing facility in Durant, OK. The event marked the start of a $22.5 million expansion that will include additional production areas, refrigeration, and processing equipment. BrucePac expects to hire an additional 100 new employees to support its future growth.

Oklahoma manufacturers
(Source: Oklahoma Department of Commerce)

“In 2014, we acquired the former JC Potter Sausage facility, and since then have expanded our operations and commitment to the community, our Team Members, and customers,” said Jeff Grohs, President and CEO of BrucePac. “To date, we have invested over $45 million in Durant, and this is just the beginning of our next phase of growth.”

“This project will enhance our capabilities and allow us to continue producing high-quality cooked meat products to better serve our customers and the marketplace,” added Marcelo Borsatto, BrucePac’s Director of Operations.

In business since 1949, Woodburn, Oregon-based BrucePac produces fully-cooked and ready-to-eat beef, chicken, pork, turkey and plant-based protein products. It employs more than 900 full-time workers. Products are sold nationwide to the retail, foodservice, military and industrial markets under various brand names.