Pacon Manufacturing’s plans to open a facility in Brunswick County received a major boost this week when the state's Rural Infrastructure Authority approved a $700,000 grant to support renovation of the former U.S. Marine facility in Navassa, where Pacon will locate
The grant requires a 5% local match from the county, totaling $35,000.
Renovation expenses are estimated at about $2 million, according to Bill Early, director of Brunswick Business and Industry Development (BID). The Rural Infrastructure Authority’s Building Reuse Grant will help offset that expense, but Pacon must do the work and pay for it first, Early explained in a conversation earlier this month about how the grant would work if it were approved.
“The company would have the renovation done and submit the invoices and proof of payment,” Early said. “The [grant] money would come to the county, and the county then would forward it to Pacon.”
Only "approved and eligible" upfit expenses would be reimbursed from grant funds, Early explained.
Founded in 1949, Pacon Manufacturing develops and manufactures wipes, pads, towels and liquids for the consumer, industrial and medical industries. Its products range from disinfecting wipes to makeup remover pads to personal care wipes.
In his announcement of Pacon’s decision to open a manufacturing facility on the U.S. Marine site, Gov. Roy Cooper said the New Jersey-based company would create 299 new jobs and make an investment of $37.6 million in the project.
The grant, however, was based on different numbers, Early explained. The Building Reuse Grant application cited 238 jobs, the number Pacon expects to create in its first two years (the 299 is the total projection after five years), and a company investment of just under $12.5 million, the cost of only the building upfit and machinery purchase and not other related expenses.
This is the second grant from the state supporting the manufacturing project. Earlier this month, officials announced a $300,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund. This performance-based fund will release the money in increments as Pacon hits specified hiring and capital investment targets, Early said.
The Building Reuse Program provides grants to local governments to renovate vacant buildings, renovate and/or expand buildings occupied by existing North Carolina companies, and renovate, expand or construct health care facilities that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties – counties with fewer employment opportunities – and in rural census tracts of Tier 3 counties.