In the ever-growing competition among states and localities to attract new jobs and investments, economic developers often follow fads to appear to be on the cutting edge. One week it’s renewable energy. The next week, the hot emerging economic engine is nanotechnology. Yet many governments are now finding that rather than following the pack, they should instead focus on helping to facilitate the growth of the food and beverage sector. Food and beverage companies provide economic stability, good wages and instant credibility (the main players have global name recognition), so economic developers are eager to roll out the red carpet and welcome these companies to their communities.
Food and beverage companies looking to expand are now finding custom-tailored
incentive packages designed to help them quickly achieve their business goals
related to developing new facilities. Instead of relying merely on tax credits,
communities are now supporting companies’ growth by putting money into roads,
water and sewer infrastructure, worker training and cash grants.
Recently announced incentive packages for food and beverage companies have
included incentives (such as free land), cash grants to cover infrastructure
costs, worker training reimbursements and utility upgrades amounting to tens of
millions of dollars. These projects generally employ 100–200 people and
represent a capital investment of around $150 million to $250 million.
Nearly as important, local governments are fostering the development of
industrial sites that are specifically designed to meet the unique needs of the
industry. Instead of merely clustering all industry types together, these
governments recognize that a strong utility and transportation infrastructure,
land located away from residential areas or other industrial uses (to avoid
nuisance issues,) and access to a highly skilled workforce are essential.
Yet despite the hospitality and genuine desire by governments to be true
partners in the growth of the industry, food and beverage companies are often
confronted with a myriad of complex tax, land use and environmental issues that
can complicate the site selection process. The integrated McGuireWoods food and
beverage industry team, using not only the law firm to address regulatory and
compliance issues but also the years of experience McGuireWoods Consulting has
in representing some of the most recognized brands in the world, can assist food
and beverage companies with navigating these processes as quickly and
effectively as possible.
Recently, McGuireWoods Consulting LLC
and McGuireWoods LLP were able to help a high-profile beverage company with site
location for a future manufacturing facility. McGuireWoods Consulting led the
site selection and incentives negotiations across multiple states on behalf of
the company and was able to help secure:
- A partial property tax abatement
- State and county grants for utility and road infrastructure
- Worker training assistance
- Favorable regulatory and land use determinations
For more information, please contact
Christopher D. Lloyd (McGuireWoods Consulting) or members of our food and beverage industry team.