Governor Hutchinson called in a room full of dignitaries to announce the Fiocchi Group’s  American subsidiary based in Missouri, will expand an existing ammunition manufacturing plant in Southwest Little Rock. It will spend $15 million to expand the facility, which makes ammunition components, and increase the workforce from 28 to 85. New machinery is the primary addition to make completed center-fire ammunition rounds.

Hutchinson said these would be “good-paying jobs.” He said he considered firearms an “essential industry” and that it would stay open, a reference to business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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It only developed in questioning that this was an expansion of an existing facility and the 85 jobs announced included those already there. I’m awaiting a response on whether any local or state incentives were provided.

It developed later that Fiocchi is buying the assets of an existing facility and will retain its workers plus machinery compatible with its production, but will add significant machinery and staff to that plant, which was operating as recently as last week near Interstate 530 on 145th Street in far southern Little Rock. The hope is that it will expand beyond the 85-employee figure mentioned today. The assets are being purchased from Grandeur Fasteners, which once was certified by the city of Little Rock to get state tax incentives for establishing a facility.

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The facility will qualify for $660,00 in state incentives — five years of cash rebates for job creation and sales tax refnd on building material and machinery purchaes.

I’m asking if the state is due any clawback from Grandeur Fasteners, which was given similar benefits in 2015 for putting a plant there. Fiocchi bought the assets of the facility and is expected to rehire current workers. UPDATE: I’m told the state has no “active incentive agreement” with Grandeur. In the 2015 deal, it qualified for five years or rebates for jobs created.

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