State doles out $81 million to create and retain jobs

HARTFORD - The state on Friday approved an $81 million package of grants and loans to expand businesses and create jobs — including $29 million for Fairfield and New Haven County companies.

"The investments we’re making will produce thousands of good-paying jobs for our residents for years to come," said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

"These investments are further proof of our commitment to companies right here at home, and to welcome new businesses to the great state of Connecticut," Malloy said.

The overall package is expected to retain 15,003 jobs and create 3,876 jobs as companies expand, relocate or stay in the state, officials said.

The State Bond Commission approved a $35 million loan to assist Electric Boat to purchase machinery and equipment for operations in Groton and New London. The $852 million project retains 11,300 jobs and creates 1,881 jobs.

Other projects approved the Bond Commission include:

American Seal and Engineering in Orange: $1.5 million loan to acquire equipment. The $8 million project retains 49 jobs and creates 25 jobs.

Budderfly LLC in Shelton: $3 million loan to acquire equipment for an expansion. The $24 million project retains 9 jobs and creates 250 jobs.

FactSet Research Systems, Inc. in Norwalk: $6.5 million grant to assist with improvements to its headquarters in Norwalk. The over $56 million project retains 900 jobs and creates 150 jobs.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Stamford: $9 million grant to purchase equipment, train workers and improvements for expansion. The $20 million project retains 946 jobs and creates 400 jobs.

ITV America, Inc. in Stamford: $6 million loan to assist with improvements and equipment for creation of a East Coast production hub at 860 Canal Street. The $8 million project creates 300 jobs.

Wheelhouse Entertainment LLC in Stamford: $3 million loan for improvements and equipment for a new digital media production facility and corporate headquarters at 860 Canal Street. The $39 million project creates 150 jobs.

State Sen. Scott Frantz, R-Greenwich and a bond commission member, grumbled about some of the high dollar amounts for growing jobs.

"They are not going anywhere," Frantz said, referring to the PricewaterhouseCoopers deal.

"That still strikes me as a large amount of money, seeing that it’s a grant." Frantz said. "In the old days we gave low interest loans and expected them to be paid back over a long period of time. Now we have migrated to a grant."

Malloy said retaining jobs, expanding companies and drawing firms to the state costs money.

"We are in a competitive situation for jobs, particularly in the Fairfield County market," Malloy said.

"The states in competition are doing the same thing," Malloy said, referring to incentives. "I would love a country where we are not bidding one state against 49 others. We take all of those things into account."

Malloy said the FactSet Research Systems project in Norwalk represents an important decision to stay in Connecticut.

"This was a very competitive process about the location of FactSet, whether they go to Westchester, New York City or Connecticut," Malloy said.

The Electric Boat funding, the governor explained, will enable the submarine manufacturer to expand its repair and design components.

"For Electric Boat to be competitive, we needed to expand the facility for more repair work, which we have not won recently," Malloy said. "There has not been enough space."

Bart Kollen, deputy commissioner for the state Department of Economic and Community Development, said Electric Boat does business with suppliers across the state.

"They will double what they spend on the supply chain in Connecticut," Kollen said.