COMING TO PORT: Janet Sofy, CEO of HMS Manufacturing, at Wednesday news conference.

HMS Manufacturing of Troy, Mich., a seller of houseware products, will locate at the Little Rock Port.


The $20 million facility, which will make use of a renovated existing facility, will create 80 jobs, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in announcing the development.

Janet Sofy, CEO of HMS, said the facility in Little Rock would be the HMS” first company-owned manufacturing facility where it has contracted with others before, including in China. HMS began as a maker of Christmas tree stands and has expanded to fabric storage, organization, waste, laundry and kitchen products. Sofy spoke of making wastebaskets and laundry baskets for retailers such as Target stores. She said the company had considered two other states in picking a site.


A news release said the company, established in 1987, will do injection molding in Little Rock.

The state will provide the following financial incentives:

* An annual cash payment equal to 3.9 percent  of payroll created for five years.
* Refunds of sales taxes paid on building the facility
* $500,000 from the governor’s quick action closing fund.
UPDATE: I wondered if the company would qualify for opportunity zone inclusion, a new federal tax break program for designated areas, including the portion of eastern Little Rock including the port. A port spokesman said this project is not part of the opportunity zone program.