A company with a sizable Sampson presence is poised to expand its local footprint, with city and county incentive agreements to be considered this week that would set the stage for a $2.56 million investment and 21 new full-time jobs in Clinton.
Brooks Brothers is considering an expansion of their Distribution Center, located at 606 Warsaw Road, a matter that will be discussed at two board meetings in the next couple days. The incentives issue with Brooks Brothers was a topic of discussion at by the Clinton City Council and Sampson Board of Commissioners in Spring 2014, but now the scope of the proposed project has changed.
In essence, there will be much less jobs created but twice the investment made and more tax revenue realized.
For the past several months, local government representatives have been working with those at Brooks Brothers concerning the company’s desire to expand the distribution center. The two sides agreed that, if Sampson County were selected as the location for expansion, certain incentive payments would be made to Brooks Brothers in return for the company’s commitment to make certain capital investments and maintain certain levels of employment in the county.
Brooks Brothers’ Clinton distribution center currently provides 48 full-time positions and 30 part-time or temporary positions. The company purchased its current building in 2012 after leasing it for several years and, as of 2013, the tax value for the Brooks Brothers facility was $1.41 million.
Under the proposed incentives agreement, the county would provide performance‐based payments to Brooks Brothers in the amount of $57,963 over a 10‐year period in return for the company’s taxable investment of $2,555,000 in equipment and $112,500 in building improvements.
County tax revenues would be a shade under $100,000 over that 10‐year period, with the project bringing the additional employment of 21 full-time positions at an average annual salary of $31,714.
Brooks Brothers presented a similar request for incentives to the city and county in spring 2014 that the respective boards subsequently approved. That request was for an investment of $1.27 million and the creation of 56 jobs with an average salary of $22,700. Since that request, Brooks Brothers has revised its plans and are now asking for a larger incentive.
“The number of jobs is fewer than before, however the company has already hired several positions over the past year and expects the average salary to be $31,714, $9,000 more annually than the previous proposal,” City manager Shawn Purvis stated in a memo to Council members.
Brooks Brothers’ proposed investment and job creation numbers are sufficient for the city’s Economic Development Incentive Policy, making them eligible for the grant-back incentive, Purvis noted. According to the policy, a company requesting such incentives must meet minimum requirements of capital investment, which include $1 million for new projects, $500,000 for expansion, job creation (15 for new projects, 10 for expansion) and competitive wage levels.
With the increased investment, the same incentive package would cost the city $17,222 over five years. Purvis has already recommended City Council approve the new incentive agreement.
“While the incentive is more, the city will also receive $10,000 more,” Purvis stated. “Additionally, the job creation, while lower in total number, includes an average salary considerably higher than the previous proposal.”
Under previous agreements, the county was to garner $85,172 in additional revenue for the first 10 years, the City of Clinton collecting an additional $5,749.
Last spring, the county unanimously approved offering grant-back incentives for the expansion of both Brooks Brothers’ Clinton Distribution Center and the Garland Shirt Factory, which currently employees 270 full-time and six temporary employees. That investment in Garland was said to total $3.7 million and result in 28 new employees.
The Sampson County Economic Development office will be responsible for monitoring the actual investment and job creation benchmarks before the city or county provides any grants.
The Sampson Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the proposed incentives at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3, at the County Auditorium. The Clinton City Council will hold a hearing at the same time the following night, Tuesday, Aug. 4, at City Hall.
Reach staff writer Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.