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4 Central MA Economic Development Projects Approved by State

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Four Central Massachusetts projects have been approved by the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) for participation in the state's Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP). In all, fourteen projects were approved statewide. 

These projects are expected to create 1,217 new jobs and retain 1,694 existing jobs, in addition to leveraging over $133 million in private investment and supporting construction projects across Massachusetts.

Among the approved projects are five manufacturing companies and nine projects located in Gateway Cities. The EDIP program will facilitate the growth of these businesses, which will contribute to job creation and private investment in the state. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications.

“Supporting companies that are choosing to grow in Massachusetts is an important part and one of the Administration’s key economic development objectives to create economic opportunity for every region of the Commonwealth,” said Massachusetts Office of Business Development Executive Director Michael Hunter. “These investments will help these businesses expand here and continue to enhance the Massachusetts economy by making our businesses and communities stronger in the long term.”

The EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses. In 2009, Governor Patrick and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki, along with the Legislature, reformed the program and, as a result, EDIP has become one of the most effective programs helping businesses grow in Massachusetts.

Since these changes, 175 projects have received approval, leading to the creation of 12,666 new jobs, retention of 38,901 existing jobs and leveraging of over $4.6 billion in private investment. The EACC has assisted 97 manufacturers through the EDIP program and supported 82 projects in Gateway Cities. The reforms in 2009 also included the creation of important clawback provisions that allows for the Commonwealth to recoup money invested through the credit if companies do not meet their job-creation targets.

The EACC approved the following Central Massachusetts projects:

Cumberland Farms, Inc. (Westborough)

Founded in 1939 as a dairy farm in Cumberland, Rhode Island, Cumberland Farms, Inc. operates 600 retail stores and gas stations spanning twelve states from its Framingham, Massachusetts headquarters. As part of a rebranding strategy, the company wishes to expand its retail fresh food offerings and after the examination of other existing New England locations, proposes an expansion at the Westborough distribution facility to accomplish this goal. The Westborough distribution facility is a 505,000 square foot building that today ships 350 tons of retail products for the New England States as well as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. A private investment of $15,993,383 will enable the build out of 11,000 square feet of existing space to create a product center, increase the freezer capacity by 27,000 square feet, update 8,000 square feet of cooler space and refrigerate the loading docks. The Expansion Project will create 79 net-new full-time jobs, retain 202 full-time jobs at the Westborough facility and retain 2,263 full-time jobs in the Commonwealth. The Town of Westborough is supporting the project with a 15-Year Tax Increment Financing Agreement and 5-Year Personal Property Tax Exemption valued at $130,446. The EACC has approved $395,000 in EDIP Investment Tax Credits. Cumberland Farms will also benefit from the Commonwealth’s 10 percent Abandoned Building Deduction.


Dennison Lubricants (Worcester)

Founded in 1987, Dennison Lubricants is a family-owned manufacturer and distributer of lubricants for the automotive, aviation, commercial, food handling, industrial and marine industries throughout greater New England. A $4,200,000 investment at their Worcester facility will enable the company to increase its operational capacity and efficiencies to accommodate its continued growth. The Expansion Project will involve a 20,000 square foot addition to the existing building for blending and storing diesel exhaust fluid ingredients. Also planned is a 3,600 square foot bulk tank farm which will include a steel frame structure, nine 30,000 gallon tanks and a loading rack for rail and truck transport. The project will create 20 net-new full-time jobs, retain 40 full-time jobs at the Worcester facility and retain 79 full-time jobs in the Commonwealth. The City of Worcester is supporting the project with a 7-Year Tax Increment Financing Agreement valued at $172,760. The EACC has approved $250,000 in EDIP Investment Tax Credits.


Tax Increment Financing Only

(The following projects will not receive an EDIP Investment Tax Credit )


Expert Lasers (Southbridge)

Founded in Southbridge in 1990, Expert Lasers provides service and supplies for office equipment in the central New England region. The company has grown from a one man operation to a twenty employee firm that today occupies 10,000 square feet of commercial space. To accommodate future growth, Expert Lasers will invest $635,000 to purchase a 12,300 square foot, vacant town barn that it will renovate into office, remanufacturing and warehousing space. The renovation will allow for an expansion of the company’s toner remanufacturing and sales divisions. The project will create 7 net-new full-time jobs in Southbridge and will retain 20 full-time jobs in Massachusetts. The Town of Southbridge is supporting the project with a 5-Year Tax Increment Financing Agreement valued at $9,654. Expert Lasers will also benefit from the Commonwealth’s 10 percent Abandoned Building Deduction.

Oasis at Dodge Park, LLC (Worcester)

Oasis at Dodge Park, LLC is an entity formed by the owners of Dodge Park Rest Home in Worcester. The company has purchased a property across the street from their existing rest home and will construct a new, state-of-the-art, 82 bed rest home residence primarily for the elderly with memory impairment, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A private investment of $14,690,348 is expected for the demolition of the existing building, two phase construction of the 61,920 square foot structure and furnishing and equipment purchases. The project will create 78 net-new full-time jobs in the Commonwealth. The City of Worcester is supporting the project with a 7 Year Tax Increment Financing Agreement valued at $172,760.


Related Slideshow: New England States Battle Over Jobs

Here are several examples of business and job raiding by and against New England states, according to the Good Jobs First report,

Shell Game: Ending the Wasteful Practice of Subsidizing Companies that Move Jobs From One State to Another


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States pirating other states for existing businesses and jobs is nothing new.

The 1950s saw heightened concern about the growing number of footloose companies that were abandoning long-standing industrial locations in the north to take advantage of benefits being offered by states such as Mississippi. Then-Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts decried southern “raiding,” especially in the textile industry. Organized labor took notice. In 1955, then-named American Federation of Labor published a pamphlet with the title “Subsidized Industrial Migration: The Luring of Plants to New Locations.”

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In Massachusetts, the free market-oriented Pioneer Institute likened interstate lures to “playing the lottery” in examining the National Establishment Time-Series Database for 1990-2007.

Although the Bay State has had a small net loss of jobs to interstate moves, it loses and gains jobs from mostly the same states (New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut all rank in the top 5 for both directions). In addition to some cautionary findings about the Bay State’s trends, the Institute concluded, “The majority of establishments that moved to the state did not receive special incentives from the state to do so. Therefore, public thinking and public policy with respect to economic development should be reoriented to place less emphasis on interstate relocation.”

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Ballooning state-budget deficits are costing millions of jobs, affecting every state, with no regard for region or corporate tax or incentive regimens.

For example, a study of job loss due to the growing trade deficit with China names New Hampshire, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, North Carolina, Minnesota, Colorado and Texas among the 10 most affected states - proportionally, and in that order. That should be a sobering fact for states such as New Hampshire (that so shamelessly pirates jobs from Mass.) and Texas (that openly lures companies from Mass. and other states).

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Several states have rules prohibiting subsidies for intrastate job relocations. Among them, are two in New England:

  • Connecticut:

o Enterprise Zone and Urban Jobs Tax Credits

o Urban and Industrial Site Reinvestment Tax Credit

  • Maine:

o Employment Tax Increment Financing

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Several states have major state-subsidy programs with restrictions on intrastate job shifting. Among them, are two in New England:

  • Rhode Island:

o Corporate-income tax-rate reduction for job creation

o Enterprise-zone tax credits

  • Vermont:

o Economic-advancement tax incentives

o Employment-growth incentives

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In 2011, the Boston Globe published a profile of the State of New Hampshire’s top business recruiter, Michael Bergeron , labeling him a “full-time thief.”

Bergeron, who was said to have removed the state seal from his car to be less conspicuous when visiting prospects, claimed to have lured dozens of firms from Mass. to the Granite State. Brazenly, he posted the Globe profile on his agency website.

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In 2010, Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell faced allegations of inciting a border war by writing to New York City-based hedge-fund managers.

“I am personally inviting you and a few of your colleagues to meet with me. We have much to discuss!” Rell added. “The meeting will be intimate, direct and private.”

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Art Imitating Life

Connecticut’s use of a tax credit to lure media-production companies was satirized, in 2011, in the I Heart Connecticut episode of the popular TV show “30 Rock.”


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