East Point will gain 300 jobs and a new manufacturing plant after Yonkers, N.Y. denied any new tax breaks for a business that had operated in their city for at least 10 years.
Pop Displays USA plans to arrive in East Point in July after Yonkers officials recently refused to issue a second round of tax breaks for the company. The company has created displays for all sorts of products and stores, including L’Oreal and Essie makeup, CVS drugstores, Black & Decker tools and an interactive headphone display in Walmart.
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The Fulton County development authority voted Tuesday afternoon to give Pop Displays a $300,000 Regional Economic Business Assistance (REBA) grant, described on a state website as an “incentive program that is used to help ‘close the deal’ when companies are considering Georgia and another state or country for their location or expansion.” Development authorities are tasked with choosing projects that spur commerce and create jobs in the county.
“There’s a lot of heartburn of losing those 400 jobs out of Yonkers,” said Al Nash, CEO of Select Fulton, the county’s economic development arm. Not all of the New York jobs will be moved to East Point as the company plans to keep some employees there.
Pop Displays CEO Mike Bell did not respond to multiple requests for an interview Tuesday. He said through a spokesperson that the company will spend about $8 million to renovate an existing facility at 4045 North Commerce Drive in industrial East Point to make it a 337,000-square-foot building by July.
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The company’s move comes a few weeks after Pop Displays was denied a second round of tax breaks similar to tax breaks it received when it first moved to Yonkers, Christina Gilmartin, spokeswoman for the Yonkers mayor, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. Yonkers is in Westchester County along the Hudson River, north of New York City.
“We’re saddened to see them leave, but given the circumstances, it wasn’t fair to call on the taxpayers to subsidize their business more,” she said. “In the context of standard of living and minimum wage, the cost of running the business is more beneficial where you are.”
It isn’t clear how large a tax break Pop Displays requested in New York, and the Yonkers agency involved was not immediately available Tuesday afternoon.
A spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Economic Development didn’t know if the company received any other incentives here.
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In his statement, Bell made no mention of any incentives or tax breaks, but said, “We look forward to being part of the East Point community as we continue to grow our business domestically and internationally.”
Pop Displays said the East Point facility would also hire 165 temporary positions in addition to the 280 jobs.
Maceo Rogers, East Point’s economic development director, said the workforce breakdown is 75 to 100 full-time jobs and 200 to 300 part-time workers doing anything from administrative work to manufacturing.
“Pop Displays will be a great corporate partner and addition to the city’s booming economy,” Rogers said.
The average annual salary for the new jobs comes out to $34,391 plus benefits, according to a REBA fact sheet on the grant.
The state Department of Economic Development said in the announcement that it was working on 203 manufacturing projects and 54 distribution center projects throughout Georgia this fiscal year.
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