Fresno job market wins big during state-wide tax credit program

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Bringing new businesses to Fresno and helping current ones grow - that is what the California Competes Multi-Million Dollar Tax Credit is doing.

"It's the start of a lot of good things happening in Fresno," Fresno Mayor Lee Brand said.

The mayor is on the up and up after the governor's Office of Business and Economic Development Committee approved a $62.8 million tax credit for 87 companies.

Eleven of those are either currently in or looking to move to the Central Valley - creating more than 540 jobs in the next four years.
Green Chef Corporation, based in Colorado, is among the group, and it received $2.5 million.

And with that money, the company, which operates an organic food delivery service, is planning to put a distribution center in Fresno that would bring nearly 350 jobs with an average full-time salary of $30,000.

"Ninety percent of our population is qualified for these jobs," Brand said. "These are full-time jobs, benefits, 401K. It'll drop the unemployment dramatically. I want to see us under 10 percent continually."

Brand tells Action News sites like this in the city are already equipped with water, sewer and an infrastructure that is prepared for development. And it is attracting more businesses to the area.

"It's gotta be 'here's your keys, there's your pad,' it's called 'shovel ready,'" he said.

Plato Pet Treat, an all-natural pet treat company in Fresno, was also awarded the tax credit.

"I was very glad and surprised because it was kind of a long process, and we weren't relly sure we were going to get it," CEO Aaron Merrell said.

Merrell says the $200,000 they received will help with the operation's long-term growth plan.

"The majority of this is going to be new equipment for us to be able to expand our capacity and add some new capabilities," he said. "We're also going to be looking at expanding our facility at some point whether that's expanding here or relocating."

And in total, all of the companies awarded the California Competes Tax Credit will help bring nearly 6,400 jobs and generate over $890 million in investment across California.
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