State Offices Can Lend Aid (and More) to Processors

When a company is looking for a location for a processing facility, warehouse or other large-scale project, it doesn’t have to do it alone. There are state development offices that can help provide a company with research and data, not to mention tax breaks and incentives.
“We can evaluate local sites and get all the information on local incentives, unemployment rates and advantages and introduce the company to local officials,” says Rod Kirk, recruitment specialist for the Business Development division of Tennessee’s Department of Economic and Community Development. “We can also research supplier locations to determine the advantages and disadvantages for different regions in the state.”
John Mallett, senior development representative for the West Virginia Development Office, notes the importance of location when considering any construction efforts. “Whether it’s a metal-processing facility or a meat-processing facility, location if always critical — if [the facility] needs to be near the producers or the growers, or if it needs to be near the marketplace. Also, I think infrastructure is critically important, such as adequate water, sewer and roads systems.”
Other things to keep in mind are the willingness of the state and local communities to accept a facility, its history and its transportation access, taking both inflow and outflow into account, notes Ed Harlan, agribusiness development coordinator for Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture. He notes that Tennessee, for example, has “a fast-growing consumer base, great transportation network and tremendous potential on the agricultural side with, grower and feed potential.”
Mallet says there are several poultry processors, including Pilgrim’s Pride and Perdue Farms, with facilities in West Virginia. If a company is looking to construct a new facility or expand on an existing one, the state is able to offer several types of financial incentives. “We provide direct loans and low-cost financing. We provide employee training assistance, and as provide state tax credits,” he says. “That’s all based on the amount of the investment and the number of new jobs that are going to be created.”
Kirk says that some of the benefits that Tennessee can offer companies include infrastructure and training grants, jobs tax credits on each new full-time position created, no state property tax or sales tax on purchases, installation and repairs of qualified industrial machinery, as well as no sales tax on raw materials for processing or pollution-control equipment for manufacturers.