VOL. 127 | NO. 57 | Thursday, March 22, 2012
EDGE Board OK's Tax Freeze, New Loan Fund
By Andy Meek
Economic development officials have granted a five-year tax freeze to an expanding importer and wholesale distributor of safety products to industrial distributors and retailers.
The Memphis-Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine board granted the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) benefit to International Sourcing Co. Inc., which has plans to acquire and renovate a larger facility. In the process, the company plans to create 20 jobs and invest $1.9 million to expand and consolidate its warehouse facilities.
ISC’s attorney described it as “truly a homegrown company,” having been started in 1994 by Himanshu and Anita Varma out of their Memphis home. It later grew into a 7,500-square-foot warehouse and brought on six people.
The company’s rapid growth has forced it to expand into 3 warehouses.
ISC’s operations headquarters is in Memphis, but it also has offices in India and China and a warehouse in Chino, Calif. The company currently employs more than 70 people, with 63 of those jobs based in Memphis.
The company projects annual sales growth of 10 percent over the next few years fueled partly by new licensing agreements to sell Dickies-branded work gloves and worker-support products and Stanley brand work gloves.
The company also has the opportunity to get a one-year extension on its PILOT benefit down the line if it meets certain conditions related to hiring reentry employees formerly of the prison population.
In other news, the EDGE board also approved an arrangement with the National Development Council, which bills itself as the oldest national nonprofit community development group in the country.
The NDC is going to provide basic consulting to the EDGE entity, in addition to help it form a loan fund that will be used to support small- and medium-sized business developments.
The board is chipping in $500,000 of its local money that the NDC will then leverage to provide more than $3 million to businesses.