Thursday December 10, 2009
Incentive programs built for new and existing businesses could create more than 1,100 new jobs statewide
Gov. Steve Beshear today joined Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson to announce that innovative state business incentive programs could help create more than 1,100 new jobs and maintain another 1,400 jobs in Kentucky.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) gave preliminary approval today to 29 businesses (12 in Louisville) for incentive packages created or expanded under the governor’s Incentives for a New Kentucky (INK) legislation. In Louisville alone, those approvals have the potential to create 658 new jobs and about $27 million in new payroll. This month marks a record number of KEDFA-approved Louisville projects since the city-county merger.
“We’ve begun to see an increase in interest and activity as a result of the expanded incentive legislation which we successfully pushed through the special legislative session this summer,” said Gov. Beshear. “We streamlined and modernized many of our economic development incentive programs to demonstrate Kentucky’s willingness to adapt to current economic conditions and reflect the needs of both new and existing businesses.”
One of the companies to benefit from the revamped incentives programs is Louisville-based MESA Foods. KEDFA today preliminarily approved MESA Foods for tax benefits up to $850,000 under the recently expanded Kentucky Reinvestment Act (KRA) incentive program. The KRA focuses on Kentucky’s existing manufacturers who need to make a significant capital investment in Kentucky facilities in order to remain competitive.
“The recession is still hammering at our city and country but, even in the midst of hardship, positive things are happening, as MESA is demonstrating,” Abramson said. “MESA and the 11 other Louisville companies being awarded state tax incentives are bright glimmers of proof that the economy is returning.”
“While the current economy has many cities sitting on the sidelines, we’re proud that Louisville is strategically capitalizing on it as an opportunity to attract new growth,” said Joe Reagan, President and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. “Businesses like MESA Foods are leading the way, and we are especially encouraged to see four of the KEDFA projects located in West Louisville. It will take our entire community prospering to lead us out of the recession and lay the groundwork for the next decade of growth.”
MESA plans to invest nearly $2.9 million in its plant to increase production and ensure competitiveness. Their facility upgrade will retain 182 Kentucky jobs and create 35 additional jobs over the next two years.
MESA Foods, which began operations in the 1980s and serves customers like the Tumbleweed restaurant chain, produces flour and corn tortillas, taco shells, pre-cut corn chips and flatbreads.
“Our goal is to not only create new jobs in the Commonwealth, but to save Kentucky jobs,” said Gov. Beshear. “MESA Foods’ investment in its Louisville facility will accomplish both - it’s the best of both worlds.”
For more information about Kentucky’s revamped incentive programs, visit http://thinkkentucky.com/KYEDC/kybizince.aspx.
# # #
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2008 totaled nearly $1.7 billion with the creation of more than 7,750 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.