Tax credits for new business?

  • Wilton Planning Board members Alec MacMartin and Neil Faiman discuss an application by  Atlantic Prefab to move into a portion of the former PEP Direct Building during its meeting on Wednesday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Wilton Planning Board Chair Sara Spittel and members Alec MacMartin and Neil Faiman discuss an application by Atlantic Prefab to move into a portion of the former PEP Direct Building during its meeting on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.(Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 7:51AM

Wilton is pushing for job creation and businesses to move in by applying to create a Economic Revitalization Zone out of its expanded downtown village. If accepted, the new zone would give tax credits to a business just approved to move into the zone.

The Wilton Planning Board gave the nod, with minimal conditions, to Atlantic Prefab to move into and use a portion of the former PEP Direct building on Stoney Brook Drive to manufacture metal roof trusses and wall panels during its meeting last week.

“The biggest drive was for the additional space,” said Mark Beroney, general manager and senior designer at Atlantic Prefab in an interview last week. “The building we started in originally wasn’t large enough – we knew that it wasn’t going to be large enough when we began. We need that extra space.”

In fact, said Beroney, Atlantic Prefab is currently split between two locations. Moving to Wilton will allow them to consolidate the business.

And certainly, the PEP Direct building has enough room to meet those goals – in fact, Atlantic Prefab isn’t planning on using the entire space. Beroney specified in his application to the Planning Board that the company was only looking to use about 50,000 square feet of the 126,000 square foot building. The rest, he said, may be rented out to other businesses looking for light industry space.

Wilton Economic Development Committee Chair Jennifer Beck said that light industry is one of the healthiest potions of Wilton’s economic make-up.

“We have some healthy businesses that have been here for a long time in that sector,” said Beck. And the prospect of other businesses moving into the space is just what the town is trying to encourage by applying to make that area of town a Economic Revitalization Zone, or ERZ.

ERZs offer short-term tax credits to businesses that create new jobs, specifically, in an attempt to spur employment creation. Wilton is currently requesting a ERZ designation through the state Department of Resources and Economic Development, said Beck.

Businesses within the zone can apply for tax credits based upon a percentage of newly created jobs salaries – between 4 and 6 percent depending upon how much more the wage is than the minimum wage – and either up to 4 percent of the cost of creating or renovating a facility and equipment purchases, or a set fee for each newly created job, whichever is lower.

The state has designated up to $825,000 statewide in tax credits for businesses in ERZs, according to DRED. A single taxpayer can apply for up to $40,000 in tax credits.

Though the town has not yet been approved to designate a ERZ by the state yet, if they are, Atlantic Prefab would be able to take advantage of the tax credits, said Beck, as would any other businesses that move into their building.

“This is one of the things that we’re doing to encourage people to come into town,” said Beck. Economic Development has been a focus for the town in the last several years, with the creation of the Economic Development Committee. “We would like to accelerate that process of filling some of our empty buildings.”

One of the requirements of applying for ERZ credits is a business must create at least one new full-time job – meaning 35 hours or more a week.

Atlantic Prefab will be moving its current 25 employees into its Wilton location, said Beroney, but in addition to that, they’ll also be looking to hire additional employees as they grow into their new space – an additional 5-10 to start with. If the company continues to grow, they may eventually end up with as many as 50 employees, Beroney said.

Atlantic Prefab plans to move the portion of the business located in Penacook into the building in April, and the portion located in Nashua by mid-May.

“We are very excited to be moving to Wilton,” said Beroney. “The town has been very welcoming and helpful throughout the process.”

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.