The Clarke County Board of Supervisors cleared the way for on Tuesday for a $467,200 combination of state and local funding for Berryville Graphics. The funds are being offered as an incentive to the German-owned multi-national corporation to strengthen its position in Virginia.
“The owners of Berryville Graphics, Bertelsmann AG, also own other printing companies in Virginia and other states,” said Supervisor John Staelin (Millwood). “Last fall Bertelsmann looked into consolidating some of its smaller operations into other existing facilities. Senior management at Bertelsmann narrowed the choice for that consolidation down to two possible locations, Louisville, Kentucky and Berryville, Virginia.”
At yesterday’s meeting Staelin said that the Virginia governor’s office knew there was a competition between Kentucky and Virginia for where to locate jobs and equipment used in the company’s printing business.
“If the Kentucky facility had been chosen not only would 84 New York jobs have gone to Kentucky – rather than Virginia – 102 Frederick County jobs would also have been lost as well,” Staelin said. “The Berryville plant could have also been affected in the longer term due to the competitive nature of the industry. Members of the Governor’s office studied the economics of the situation and decided the Commonwealth should offer a total of $467,200 in grants to Berryville Graphics if Clarke County and the Town of Berryville would provide $200,000 of the funds. By State law these offers require a set local match. It was announced that of the State funds, it $67,200 of the grant was to come from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program and $200,000 was to come from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund.”
Staelin said that the Board of Supervisors approval means that Clarke County will spend $106,000 to aid the Governor’s efforts to support Berryville Graphics’s expansion in Clarke County. The Town of Berryville will invest an additional $94,000.
“The County’s share of the funds will come from the ‘profits’ the County received in the past from the sale of Business Park lots,” Staelin said.
Staelin said that the deal will have a positive impact both for Virginia as well as Berryville.
“A total of 186 new jobs will be created at the Berryville facility within three years,” Staelin said. “These jobs must be in addition to the number employed as of January, 19, 2012. At least 84 of those jobs are to be new jobs in Virginia – not jobs transferred from other Virginia locations – and at least 30% of the new jobs must be offered to Virginia residents.
Staelin said that the average wage of the new Clarke County jobs is to be at least $41,584.
Staelin explained that Berryville Graphics will make its investment at the Berryville facility over a three year period and that added tax revenues derived from that three-year expansion is expected to pay back all the local taxpayer funds expended during that same three-year period. “After that, it is expected that the Town and County will receive a total of about $100,000 annually in new tax revenue from the facilities and equipment associated with the expansion,” Staelin said. “That is an annual return of about 50% on the original $200,000 investment in addition to the many other local benefits received by the community’s retention of a fortified Berryville Graphics.”
The Clarke County Board of Supervisors were unanimous in their support of the proposed grants.
“It makes sense to me to encourage a business to stay here and expand in Clarke County,” said Supervisor David Weiss (Buckmarsh).
“I’m glad that an increased percentage of the jobs are staying here in Virginia,” said Supervisor Barbara Byrd (Russell).
“We owe a lot of thanks to John [Staelin] for all of his work to get this accomplished,” said Bev McKay (White Post).
“This is a good step toward economic development in this community,” said Supervisor Michael Hobert (Berryville). “This is an excellent investment for us and the town. This is the kind of partnership that we should be fostering.”
View the “Governor’s Development Opportunity Fund Performance Agreement” here: Berryville Graphics Performance Agreement
Read Supervisor Staelin’s complete statement here: Staelin Statement Regarding Berryville Graphics Performance Agr