Together the projects will generate up to $602 million in new investments and create close to 2,000 new jobs.
By far the biggest project approved by the board this month is in Charlotte. Spartan Motors Chassis designs and manufactures a variety of special products for vehicles. They’re expected to add 450 new jobs along with an expanded facility.
George Bosnjak manages business development at The Right Place. It’s an economic development group in West Michigan. He helped two companies expanding in Grand Rapids get the tax breaks. Atomic Object LLC will expand its current location over a site in California. They expect to launch two new programs that’ll add 30 high tech software design jobs. Knape & Vogt Manufacturing Company makes all kinds of storage related components in Grand Rapids. They purchased a company in Illinois and will move production to Michigan, creating more than 120 new jobs.
Bosnjak is optimistic about industry growth in West Michigan.
“We really see a positive trend across all sectors, certainly nothing where it’ll turn around and change what’s happened over the last three years overnight but I feel that our economy and companies here are certainly moving in the right direction.”
However, Governor Rick Snyder is proposing to eliminate these and many other tax breaks. Bosnjak says they’re playing it by ear.
“I don’t think anyone really knows exactly what the programs will be and what the changes will be and how it’ll affect companies. But we’ll certainly deal with the tools that we have and make the best and do the best job that we can.
Snyder says the incentives inherently pick winners and losers when he says the state needs to create a simple and fair tax structure so all businesses are on an even playing field.