The city of Clinton is offering economic incentives to a Smithfield Foods subsidiary to locate in the heart of its downtown, bringing a dozen jobs and a quarter-million dollars in investment with it.
The city received a request from Duplin Marketing Company LLC, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, for economic development incentives to relocate their office to Clinton. The office would include 12 employees with an average annual salary of $65,000. The company would invest a total of $250,000 in new money into the community.
City manager John Connet recommended providing economic incentives of up to 50 percent of the estimated tax revenue, which would mean $2,500 in city incentives for an investment that would equate to $5,000 in new revenue.
John Swope, executive director for the Sampson County Economic Development Commission, said the deal would allow Duplin Marketing to establish a centrally-located office, while the city could help a local company and reap additional tax base. The company headquarters would be located at 110 E. Main St., Clinton.
“It’s an attractive office,” said Swope. “There are presently employees working in the region, but they don’t have a central office. They are looking to create a central office in downtown Clinton.”
A public hearing was held to receive comments this week, during which no one spoke in opposition. The City Council, upon the staff’s recommendation, subsequently approved providing economic incentives for the project in the amount of $2,500 spread over a five-year period.
Duplin Marketing’s current offices are located in Rose Hill. Establishing them here would be a boon to Clinton and aid in growing the tax base.
“That’s a very exciting aspect of relocating them into the downtown Clinton area,” said Swope. “These people do live in the region, so we don’t foresee housing changes. It will be 12 jobs in downtown Clinton and the purchasing they would do. It would also bring $250,000 of additional tax base to downtown Clinton. Being a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, we are trying to support them in this effort.”
The city’s largest taxpayer and employer, Smithfield Foods’ Clinton plant employs more than 1,700 workers. Duplin Marketing Company markets and sells cold sows for various hog farmers within the Smithfield family in this region, Swope noted.
While the operation is not large — the city has previously offered incentives much larger for construction of new facilities or renovation and expansion of existing ones — new jobs and more tax revenue was always a positive, he said.
“It is a small operation,” said Swope, “but 12 jobs are 12 jobs. We like the idea of office operations in our community.”
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at email@example.com.