R.I. Leaders Celebrate Construction of New Finlays Facility

📅   Wed April 19, 2017 - Northeast Edition #8
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Gov. Gina M. Raimondo joined elected officials and business leaders at an event celebrating the construction of Finlays new global research and development center at Quonset Business Park.
Gov. Gina M. Raimondo joined elected officials and business leaders at an event celebrating the construction of Finlays new global research and development center at Quonset Business Park.

Gov. Gina M. Raimondo joined elected officials and business leaders at an event celebrating the construction of Finlays new global research and development center at Quonset Business Park. Finlays is a global leader in the development and distribution of tea and coffee extracts.

The project is anticipated to add 73 full-time jobs and increase the state's GDP by $15.3 million.

Finlays new project at Quonset will include 93,000 sq. ft. (8,640 sq m) of building space and will result in an investment of approximately $54.3 million. The project is planned to be completed in two phases. The first phase will consist of a 28,800 sq. ft. (2,676 sq m) global research and development facility and pilot plant. The second phase will see the construction of a 65,000-sq.-ft. (6,039 sq m) full-scale manufacturing and distribution plant.

“This new facility will bring Finlays products to market, but will also bring good, family-supporting jobs to Rhode Island,” Raimondo said. “Because of our hard work reinvesting in our manufacturing industries and supporting high-skill, high-wage opportunities for our residents, global leaders like Finlays want to be here and create jobs. I'm thrilled to see another business building here in Rhode Island.”

“This significant investment in our infrastructure will enhance our ability to bring world class solutions and innovative ideas to market. As we continue to grow our leadership position in the industry, we are proud to be doing it here in Rhode Island, a state that shares our values and promotes our ambitions.” stated Steve Olyha, CEO of Finlay USA.

As part of the project, Finlays has committed to hiring 73 new full-time employees by 2019 and will receive approximately $1.4 million in Qualified Jobs Incentive Tax Credits. The company also will receive a total of $572,000 in Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credits over both phases of the project.

Based on a third-party analysis, over the 12-year period, Rhode Island is projected to realize a net increase of approximately $4.2 million in personal, sales and business corporation tax revenues directly and indirectly generated by the project during construction and the 12-year commitment period. The analysis also projects an increase of $15.3 million in Rhode Island's annual GDP after the completion of Phase II attributed to Finlay's full project and operations over the period.

“Finlays is another example of a globally important company that is planting a flag in Rhode Island — drawing upon and growing our innovation ecosystem,” said Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor, who also serves as chair of the Quonset Development Corporation board of directors. “Finlays joins renowned companies such as Johnson & Johnson, GE Digital, Virgin Pulse and A.T. Cross that are landing and expanding in our state.”

Finlay Extracts and Ingredients USA Inc. (Finlay) is the American operator of Finlays, a global leader in tea and coffee extracts producing ingredients and solutions for the food, beverage and dairy industry. The company was founded in 1750 and has grown into a highly diversified global business group. In 2014, Finlays purchased the iconic Rhode Island company Autocrat LLC and expanded its tea and extracts business to include Autocrat's business lines. Since then, Finlays has identified growth opportunities in the ready-to-drink-market.

The Rebuild Rhode Island tax credit program is an economic tool activated when a real estate project cannot raise sufficient funding or is at risk of locating in another state. The program can fill a financing gap with redeemable tax credits that cover up to 20 percent — and in some cases 30 percent — of project costs. Approved projects also can be exempted from sales tax on construction materials, furnishings and equipment. Qualifying projects include commercial office, industrial, residential, mixed-use development, ground-up construction and historic rehab; a minimum project cost of $5 million and certain project-size minimums may apply.

Qualified Jobs Incentive Tax Credits are available for companies expanding their workforce in Rhode Island or relocating jobs from out of state. The credits are redeemable for up to 10 years. They are only available to the company once the jobs are filled and the positions are paying income tax. Finlays has indicated it will commit to maintaining the new jobs in Rhode Island for at least the 12 years required.

Another key draw for the company at Quonset was its innovative site-readiness program. The Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) has completed all the permitting and engineering that a developer would require as part of “due diligence” to get a project under way. Quonset's site-readiness program allows businesses to begin construction within 90 days of taking site control, a significant advantage. The company also is taking advantage of two standard lease incentives offered by the QDC. The first incentive is based on the length of the term of the lease (50 years), while the second is based on employment and wages the company delivers. Both incentives are offered on all new land leases signed by Quonset tenants regardless of their size.

“Innovative programs are just one of the many reasons that Quonset has established itself as a leading engine of economic development in Rhode Island. With nearly 11,000 jobs at more than 200 companies the Quonset Business Park is a true Rhode Island success story. Finlays new facility is a welcome addition to the Park and we look forward to working with their entire team on this project,” said Steven J. King, the managing director of the QDC.