Michigan Economic Development Corp. has announced that a $900,000 Michigan Business Development Program incentive has been approved for Belmont Engineered Plastics in Plainfield Township — to support its expansion in the former Kimberly-Clark plant and hire an additional 62 employees over the next three years.
Kimberly-Clark headquarters in Dallas announced in early January that it would close the plant in Plainfield Township by June, resulting in the loss of about 180 jobs here. Now, however, newly established Belmont Engineered Plastics is buying the plant and has 50 people at work there producing injection-molded plastics products. BEP is part of Fort Defiance Industries and R&S Logistics, based in Tennessee, according to The Right Place economic development agency in Grand Rapids.
The BEP expansion project will entail $5.5 million in new private investment, according to the MEDC, with BEP’s planned growth prompted by new contracts it has for plastic products that are currently produced offshore.
The Right Place assisted in placing BEP in the former Kimberly-Clark plant and noted that Plainfield Township is also helping by offering property tax abatements as inducements.
“Belmont Engineered Plastics is creating a home where we can expand manufacturing operations in our new facility in Plainfield Charter Township,” said BEP President Stephen King. “Michigan is an exceptional state for companies like BEP because we can attract and retain employees with diverse skills and a strong work ethic.”
“This attraction project demonstrates the importance of high quality manufacturing and industrial real estate to support West Michigan’s continued economic growth,” said Birgit Klohs, president and CEO of The Right Place. “Where one company exits, another sees opportunity.”
Signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in December, the Michigan Business Development Program provides grants, loans and other economic assistance to qualified businesses that make investments or create jobs in Michigan, with preference given to businesses that need additional assistance for deal-closing and for second stage gap financing, according to MEDC. The Michigan Strategic Fund, which administers the program, will consider a number of factors in making these awards, including: out-of-state competition, private investment in the project, business diversification opportunities, near-term job creation, wage and benefit levels of the new jobs, and net-positive return to the state.
Business retention and retail business projects are not eligible for consideration of these incentives.