On Tuesday, May 31, Blue Buffalo, a Wilton-based natural pet food company, announced their plans to build a new manufacturing complex on 89 acres it had acquired in Richmond, Indiana. According to a release put out by the company, “The complex will include a state of the art pet food manufacturing plant, an R&D facility and an attached warehouse.”

The move involves a reported $100 million investment by the company in Indiana to build the production and distribution center, and the creation of an estimated 160 new jobs. In addition, Blue Buffalo is said to be getting $1.6 million in tax credits from Indiana.

Blue Buffalo’s announcement inspired a reaction from Wilton’s state senator, Toni Boucher (R-26), who is disappointed that the company didn’t opt to keep their operations—or their dollars and job creation—here at home. She released a statement critical of the policies and tactics state officials have employed, saying CT isn’t reliable and creates too much of a tax burden on businesses. She says this caused “another company not expanding in Connecticut.”

Boucher released the following statement with Len Fasano (R-North Haven), the senate minority leader:

“Once again our state’s fiscal policies have resulted in another company not expanding in Connecticut. The state has become numb to these types of announcements. Years of turning a blind eye to the problems and proposing the same anti-job policies have pushed people to look elsewhere and chased jobs out of our state. And as a result the middle and working class are the ones who suffer.

“Maybe advertising really does work. It was almost a year ago that Indiana ran a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal urging Connecticut companies to move to the Hoosier state. The message was simple: ‘friends don’t let friends pay high taxes.’

“The package Indiana is offering is modest compared to the packages Connecticut has handed out in its system of choosing winners and losers. While Connecticut’s First Five program and special handouts have averaged a cost to the state of approximately $90,000 per job in loans and grants, Indiana’s package only has a potential for approximately $10,000 per job in performance based tax credits – meaning the jobs have to be created first. What’s perhaps more attractive here is the potential to grow in an environment with less tax burdens and more reliability.

“Connecticut is a great state but we have to change the way we operate to create an environment that supports the needs of our families and grows jobs. We cannot punish employers who are successful. We must create a pro-growth environment that helps all Connecticut businesses, not just a select few. We also need structural changes to create a prosperous and sustainable state. We need to make our state reliable and predictable. We need lawmakers to recognize that business as usual in the state of Connecticut is not good enough.”

Bill Bishop, chairman and founder of Blue Buffalo, called Tuesday, “…a very big day” for his company. “This new, state of the art addition to our manufacturing network will complement our facility in Missouri. We expect to further increase our internal production capacity and now will have two of the most modern manufacturing facilities in the pet food industry. Additionally, we plan to open a state of the art R&D facility on our premises. We are also very proud of our plan to create over 160 full time jobs and look forward to being an upstanding partner in the Richmond community.”

While the company’s announcement states that multiple sites were evaluated as a possible home for the plant, it did not specify where the other sites were, or whether there were any Connecticut locations considered.

Construction on Blue Buffalo’s Indiana facility is expected to commence in the second half of 2016.

One reply on “Wilton’s Blue Buffalo Announces Expansion to Indiana; Boucher Isn’t Happy”

  1. I know Connecticut is not keen on creating jobs but, does anyone know if I can get a consulting gig negotiating against Malloy? What a cake walk job that would be. I about fell over when I read he forked over 22 million to Bridgewater – the largest hedge fund in the world, to stay in CT. Bridgewater is pure genius “Hey, lets “negotiate” with Malloy and throw the question at him and watch him cave. We have absolutely nothing to lose.” http://dealbreaker.com/2016/05/connecticut-ray-dalio-financial-aid/?show=comments#comments
    I don’t know what it will take these Liberals to wake up. Only Connecticut could simultaneously be “going to the dogs” as the saying goes yet “going away from the dogs” as is the case with Blue Buffalo, in the same breath.

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