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State offers incentives to firms in Orem, St. George

Published February 13, 2014 10:17 pm

Economy • Rebates would aid growth of communications, stone companies.
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The state is offering financial incentives to an Orem communications company and a St. George stone works to grow their businesses.

Jive Communications, which provides advanced Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services to businesses and institutions, will receive a post-performance tax credit of $938,321 over the next five years, when it plans to move to a new facility and add 576 jobs to its existing payroll.

A rebounding housing market also has fueled expansion plans for St. George-based Environmental StoneWorks, which manufactures and installs stone veneer on building facades. The company hopes to invest $2 million into a new plant and to add 124 new jobs over the next 10 years, the period covered by a $514,304 post-performance tax credit.

The Governor's Office of Economic Development board approved both incentives Thursday.

Jive Communication has grown rapidly since being founded in 2007, said GOED board member Jerry Oldroyd, doubling its workforce to 200 in the last year alone.

"They've had pretty remarkable success," he added, noting that the state's incentive — if accepted — is expected to spur a $6.4 million investment by Jive in a new facility, possibly in Lehi.

The company has received another incentive offer from Arizona and is being courted by Massachusetts as well, Oldroyd said, but Utah is perceived to have the advantage because Jive is here already.

New Jive jobs are projected to pay 150 percent of Utah County's average wage, adding up to $131 million over the next five years. The expansion is expected to boost state tax revenues by $6.3 million.

For Environmental StoneWorks, construction of a new manufacturing plant in St. George will allow the company to "produce a significant amount of stone" for rebounding housing markets in California, Arizona and Washington, said executive vice president Lance Sutter.

CEO Charles Stein added: "St. George has great access to the surrounding markets and the local community provides a healthy environment for our current and future employees."

The 124 new jobs are projected to generate $40 million in wages and $2.5 million in tax revenues over the next decade. The tax credit amounts to 20 percent of the new taxes likely to be produced.

"As a rural incentive, it doesn't get better than this," Oldroyd said.

The GOED board also signed off on three "rural fast track grants" to boost economies off the Wasatch Front.

Timberline Range Camps in Mount Pleasant will get $50,000 to expand its facility where trailers are built for sheepherders, hunters and other outdoorsmen. The $107,000 project will result in five new jobs at the company.

A $50,000 grant also will go to Delta Garbage Service, which wants to buy about $113,000 worth of equipment to manufacture steel garbage dumpsters. The company said it will hire 100 people, including welders and truck drivers.

Blanding-based Four Corners Adventures will receive $20,871, half of the money it needs to acquire additional equipment for a growing operation leading tourists on tours — from backpacking trips to Hummer crawls — in Utah's desert country. With the funding, the firm said it will hire an operations manager and three seasonal guides.

mikeg@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sltribmikeg