Freshouse to create 90 jobs,invest $6.3 million

  • Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 12:01 a.m.
    UPDATED: Friday, October 12, 2012 9:44 p.m.

SALISBURY - Freshouse II, a fresh produce distributor, will expand operations in Rowan County, Gov. Bev Perdue announced Friday.
The company plans to create 90 jobs and invest $6.3 million over the next three years in Salisbury. Freshouse received a $100,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund, as well as cash incentives from Rowan County and Salisbury.
Freshouse has operated a packaging and distribution operation in Salisbury for nearly 15 years and now employs 123 people in a leased facility at 216 Julian Road. The company plans to consolidate operations in Salisbury, Georgia and Florida and needs a larger location, general counsel Michael Smith told City Council last month.
The company plans to buy and renovate one of the former WA Brown & Son buildings located at 311 Long Meadow Drive. WA Brown operates in a different facility.
Freshouse is a full-service distribution and packing facility and features private label packaging to promote customer loyalty and increase sales.
Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual payroll for the new jobs will be nearly $2.3 million, plus benefits.
"We appreciate the cooperation of the city, county and state for helping Freshouse to expedite its decision to expand their business and for supporting Freshouse, its employees in North Carolina and its future," Jamey Friedman, president of Freshouse, said in a statement.
Freshouse sites in Georgia, Florida, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia also were competing for the expansion.
City Council agreed on a five-year grant for the company totaling 70 percent of the real and personal property tax revenue generated by the project. That's lower than the city's standard 75 percent, because not all of the money spent by the company would be new investment.
Rowan County approved a similar agreement.
Of the $6.3 million investment, roughly $4.5 million would cover new equipment and property improvements.
Based on the projected tax revenue generation, the company is eligible to receive city grants of between $16,732 and $20,078 annually for five years.
The new jobs would pay an average wage of $26,442. Over the next 10 years, Salisbury would collect an estimated $184,527 of new revenue, Van Geons said.
To receive the incentive, Freshouse must create 52 jobs by 2014, 70 jobs by 2015 and 90 jobs by 2016.
If the jobs are not created or maintained, the city and county could reduce or eliminate the grant payments.
"My first priority is creating jobs. Our state's top-notch business climate continues to attract companies like Freshouse," Perdue said in a statement. "This expansion also bolsters our state's strong farm industry by increasing opportunities to get North Carolina grown crops to market."
The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds.
These grants require and are contingent upon local matches.
Through use of the One NC Fund, more than 60,000 jobs and $11 billion in investment have been created since 2001.
Other partners that helped with this project include the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Rowan County, the city of Salisbury and Duke Energy.

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