News Releases

January 29, 2010

Three Firms Get Preliminary Okay For $12.5 Million In Job Creation Incentives

MONTPELIER, Vt. – A start-up solar panel manufacturer; a homegrown internet marketing firm; and an industrial pump manufacturer have been authorized to earn more than $12.5 million worth of state job creation incentives.

The companies, if they grow in or locate in Vermont, could create 815 new jobs over the next five years, according to officials with the Vermont Economic Progress Council, which authorized the incentives on Thursday.

“These are Initial Approvals, but they are in important step forward in securing these jobs for Vermont,” said Karen L. Marshall, Chairwoman of the Vermont Economic Progress Council. “If created, these 815 jobs would represent more than 6 of the positions that were lost during the recession. This kind of growth is unprecedented. ”

Internet marketing company Dealer.com of Burlington was authorized for $3.5 million in incentives to expand and grow its workforce; pump maker Hayward Tyler for $1.1 million to expand its manufacturing presence in Vermont; and start-up photovoltaic manufacturer Skypoint Solar was authorized for up to $7.9 million in Green VEGI incentives to set up research and development and manufacturing of thin-film photovoltaic technology.

“This is a critical piece of our financing plan as we move forward,” said John R. Tuttle, Skypoint’s CEO. “There is still a lot more work to do but these incentives definitely make our next steps easier and will help ensure that, when our financing is in place and final decisions are made, the project occurs in Vermont.”

Hayward Tyler, headquartered in Luton, England, makes specialty industrial pumps and has facilities in Europe, China, India and Vermont.

“Our parent company is evaluating its options for expanding manufacturing capacity, and these incentives are sure to be an important consideration during those deliberations,” said Vince Conte, Hayward Tyler General Manager.

Founded in Burlington in 1997, Dealer.com is today the global leader in Internet marketing solutions for the automotive industry.

The wellness-focused and culture-rich company now employs over 310 at its state-of-the-art, green certified 60,000-square foot downtown headquarters at Howard and Pine Streets.

“Dealer.com will continue to grow fast,” said David Stetson, CFO. “These incentives will help ensure that growth occurs here in Vermont."

“Once our Board of Directors has acted, there will be no hesitation whatsoever in creating high-paying jobs that will further strengthen Dealer.com’s lead in the market,” said founder, president, and CEO Mark Bonfigli. “We will put this money to work and we really feel that Dealer.com is a company that Vermonters can be proud of as it continues to grow over time.”

A fourth firm that applied for incentives, Business Financial Publishing, an online information service for investors, had its application denied on the grounds that it did not meet the “but for” test required by law.

The initial approvals do not guarantee the authorization of incentives. The applicants must make location and other decisions, in some cases obtain debt or equity financing, firm up their plans, and submit Final Applications for consideration by VEPC. These approvals will reserve $12.5 million of the $23 million 2010 cap for these projects, as approved by the Emergency Board on January 22.

Under reforms proposed by Governor Jim Douglas in 2006 and passed by the General Assembly, the VEGI economic incentives are authorized based on potential job creation and capital investments that must occur before the company earns the incentives and then the company receives incentive installments over a period of years.

The companies are eligible to earn the job creation incentives only if they meet and maintain payroll, employment and capital investment targets each year. Overall, these projects could create 815 new full-time jobs, $47.5 million in new payroll, and $195.7 in new capital investment over five years.

The Council approved the applications after reviewing nine program guidelines and applying a rigorous cost-benefit analysis which showed that because of the economic activity that will be generated by these projects, even after payment of the incentives the State will realize a minimum net increase in tax revenues of $4.9 million over five years.

The Council also determined that these projects would not occur or would occur in a significantly different and less desirable manner if not for the incentives being authorized, the “but for” test.

“The fact that the Council turned down an application on that basis demonstrates the scrutiny that applicants face and careful deliberations that take place,” Marshall said. “We are grateful that the Emergency Board voted to allow VEPC to exceed the $10 million cap on the program so that incentives could be authorized for these projects.”

The Vermont Economic Progress Council is an independent board consisting of nine Vermont citizens appointed by the governor, and two members appointed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, that considers applications to the state’s economic incentive programs.

The Council is attached to the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, whose mission is to help Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities.

For more information, visit:

http://economicdevelopment.vermont.gov/Programs/VEPC/tabid/124/Default.aspx

Source: Agency of Commerce and Community Development
Last Updated at: January 29, 2010 15:59:38