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Freedom Credit Union Project Among Seven Approved by State

SPRINGFIELD — The Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) approved seven projects for participation in the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP), which are expected to create 433 new jobs and retain 460 existing jobs, in addition to leveraging more than $61 million in private investment and supporting construction projects across the Commonwealth.

Among the approved projects are five manufacturing companies and three projects located in gateway cities, including one involving Freedom Credit Union and a new branch in Springfield. The EDIP program will facilitate the growth of these businesses, which will contribute to job creation and private investment in the state. The EACC meets on a quarterly basis to review applications.

“Supporting companies that are choosing to grow in Massachusetts is an important part and one of the administration’s key economic-development objectives to create economic opportunity in every region of the Commonwealth,” said Michael Hunter, executive director of the Mass. Office of Business Development. “These investments will help these companies expand and continue to enhance the Massachusetts economy by making our communities stronger in the long term.”

The EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax-credit program for businesses. In 2009, Gov. Deval Patrick and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki, along with the Legislature, reformed the program, and, as a result, the EDIP has become one of the most effective programs helping business grow in Massachusetts. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs. Those benefits can be recaptured if a company does not make the investments or create the jobs it projected.

Since these changes, 204 projects have received approval, leading to the potential creation of 14,416 new jobs, the retention of 40,911 existing jobs, and the leveraging of more than $5.5 billion in private investment. The EACC has assisted 111 manufacturers through the EDIP and has supported 94 projects in gateway cities.

The new facility in Springfield will be Freedom Credit Union’s 10th branch. As a result of the growth of the credit union, along with increased federal banking regulations, the organization is seeking to consolidate it’s two leased administrative facilities totaling approximately 7,000 square feet into a 12,000-square-foot facility in Springfield. The tax-increment-financing-only project will require an investment of approximately $2.2 million to consolidate back-office administration into a single location. The project will create 13 new full-time jobs in Springfield, and 16 employees will be transferred from Agawam to Springfield. The city of Springfield is supporting the project with a five-year tax-increment-financing agreement valued at $90,100.

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