Autos and food processors get state tax breaks

Apr 19, 2011

Five companies will get tax breaks from the state of Michigan to expand their businesses and create nearly 1,400 new jobs. The businesses received tax incentives from the state Tuesday in exchange for the jobs and around $163 million dollars in private investments.

The tax breaks went to two primary industries; automotive manufacturing for companies near Detroit and Flint and food processing for companies in West Michigan.

Rick Chapla is with The Right Place, an economic development group in West Michigan. Chapla says they’ve been focusing on the food processing industry for years, even opening a part-time office in Oceana County (more than 70 miles north of Grand Rapids).

 “The growth that has occurred continued during our recent economic downturn. Now that, frankly, we’re coming out of the recession I think the growth is accelerating.”

Chapla says there’s three important things food processors look for that West Michigan has; plenty of clean water, a variety of foods grown nearby, and a productive workforce.

“I think we’re going to lead the way in innovation when it comes to food processing methods and techniques and product development.”

Chapla says that innovation will be important to the region’s economy in the long run.

  • Hearthside Food Solutions LLC plans to invest $17.5 million in its Kentwood and Grand Rapids locations to support new growth. The baking company provides manufacturing and packaging services to several large national food brands.
  • Gordon Food Service Inc. is increasing the scope of its expansion in Wyoming (a Grand Rapids suburb). The company plans to include a new high-technology business initiative, which will result in the creation of 127 new jobs and $56.5 million in new investment.

Find more details about these and other approved projects in Grand Blanc, Troy, Brownstown Township, Rockwood, and Wayne County at the MEDC’s webpage.