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
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
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
Worker training assistance
Favorable regulatory and land use determinations
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