Business expansions get state aid

LANSING — Six business expansions and two community revitalization projects that will generate nearly $68 million in total investment and create 466 jobs around the state have received Michigan Strategic Fund approval for support, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced.

The projects were as follows:

* Eagle Film Extruders LLC, a manufacturer of polyethylene film,
received a $300,000 Michigan Business Development Program
performance-based grant to assist in a $17.1 million at a plant in Grand Rapids that will create 50 jobs. The expansion is necessary due to Eagle Film’s acquisition by Pregis LLC, a Deerfield, Ill.-based
packaging matreials manufacturer, which will result in Eagle Film
supplying more film to Pregis. The money will be used for training of new employees. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Indiana, Illinois, New York and North Carolina. The city of Grand Rapids will consider support to the project in the form of property tax abatement. In addition, other MEDC local partners, The Right Place and West Michigan Works, have supported this project with economic and workforce development tools.

* Kent Quality Foods Inc. was awarded a $750,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to assist in the building of a second manufacturing plant in Jamestown Charter Township, which will cost nearly $35 million and create 140 new jobs. Kent Quality Foods, founded in 1967 in Grand Rapids, is a third-generation family business that processes franks, sausages and specialty meats and supplies to customers throughout the Midwest.  Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Ohio. Jamestown Charter Township is supporting the project with a property tax amendment. For information about careers with Kent Quality Foods, visit http://www.KentQualityFoods.com.

* Majestic Industries LLC received a $210,000 Michigan Business
Development Program performance-based grant to assist in a $2.1
million addition to a plant in Macomb Township, which will create 25 new jobs. Magestic, founded in 1980, is a subsidiary of Tooling Technology LLC and a manufacturer of dies for the automotive industry. The company has a need to increase its capacity to meet the demands of its customers as well as expand into other sectors. Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Ohio and Missouri. Macomb Township is offering support to the project in the form of property tax abatement. Individuals interested in careers with Majestic should visit http://www.majesticind.net/employment.html.

* Schmitz Foam Products Inc. was awarded a $200,000 Michigan
Business Development Program performance-based grant to assist in  establishing its North American headquarters in Coldwater, an
investment of more than $9.1 million that will create 39 jobs. Schmitz’s parent company was established in 1935 in the Netherlands and specializes in re-working post-industrial scrap of foam producers and converters. The company uses the scrap foam to create shock pads for sports fields, landfill covers, fall protection for playgrounds and more. Its Coldwater headquarters is near one of its key suppliers. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in North Carolina. Coldwater is supporting the project with a property tax abatement. Individuals interested in careers with Schmitz Foam should visit http://www.schmitzfoam.com.

* Spiech Farms LLC received a $220,000 Michigan Business
Development Program grant to assist in a $1 million-plus expansion at its headquarters in Paw Paw that will create 55 new jobs. The expansion will allow the company to produce frozen produce in stand-up pouches. Speich Farms is a fourth-generation grow, pack, and ship operation of grapes, asparagus, lettuce, and blueberries. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Georgia. Southwest Michigan First, the economic development agency for the Kalamazoo area, is supporting the project with staff time. For information on career opportunities with Spiech Farms, contact employment@spiechfarms.com.

* ST USA Holding Corp. received a $555,000 Michigan Business
Development Program performance-based grant to assist in a $6.3
million project to add a new manufacturing plant in Coldwater that will create 129 jobs. ST USA is a subsidiary of Fox Factory Inc. and
manufactures automotive suspension parts for off road and sport
vehicles. Coldwater has offered support to the project in the form of
property tax abatement. Individuals interested in job opportunities with ST USA Holding Corp should contact hr@sporttruckusainc.com.

* Uptown Housing LLC plans to redevelop a four-story vacant structure located at 123 S. Division St. in the Heartside District of Grand Rapids. The completed project will consist of retail, commercial, and office space and six residential apartments, restoring the long-vacant building. The project will generate a total capital investment of nearly $1.4 million and create three full-time equivalent jobs, resulting in a $132,000 Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant. The Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority is providing a $50,000 grant to be used for façade improvements and ADA accessibility.

* The City of Fenton Brownfield Redevelopment Authority has received approval of $323,663 in local and school tax capture for the redevelopment of vacant property at 102 W. Silver Lake Road in downtown Fenton. The developer, 102 West Silver Lake Road LLC,
plans to construct a mixed-use, two- to three-story building that is
consistent with the character of the downtown. The tax capture will be used toward alleviating brownfield conditions at the site and preparing it for redevelopment. The project will generate a total capital investment of nearly $5 million and create 25 full-time equivalent jobs. The Fenton Downtown Development Authority is contributing $350,000 toward the project, and the developer is requesting $244,174 from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in Tax Increment Financing support.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit michiganbusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 101,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

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