More good news for Vistaprint as the international company considers expanding its Lexington operation.
Earlier this month, the state’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council approved the project – which would expand Vistaprint’s North American headquarters at the Ledgemont campus on Hayden Avenue in Lexington – for participation in its Economic Development Incentive Program. That approval would mean $360,000 in EDIP investment tax credits for the project, according to a press release.
Prior to that news from the state, a special Town Meeting here in Lexington approved a tax increment financing agreement that would provide 13 years of tax relief for the company. Supporters of the TIF, worth about $1.2 million to Vistaprint, viewed the measure as an incentive for the company to maintain and grow its operation here.
According to a press release, the Vistaprint expansion was one of 17 projects approved for participation in the EACC’s Economic Development Incentive Program, which aims to reduce the cost of business for the involved companies. Collectively, the projects are expected to create 1,341 new jobs, retain more than 4,000 existing jobs and leveraging more than $417 million in private investment, the press release said.
“The Patrick-Murray Administration has made growing our economy, spurring economic development and creating good paying jobs through supporting our small businesses a top priority from day one,” Greg Bialecki, the state’s Housing and Economic Development Secretary, said in a statement announcing this latest round of EACC approvals. “These EDIP investments will help these small businesses expand here in the Commonwealth and is part of our overall economic development strategy that will help make our businesses and communities stronger in the long-term.”
From the press release:
The EDIP is the Commonwealth’s investment tax credit program for businesses. In 2009, Governor Patrick and Secretary Bialecki, along with the Legislature, reformed the program and as a result EDIP has become one of the most effective programs helping businesses grow in Massachusetts. Since these changes, 132 projects have received approval, leading to the creation of 7,893 new jobs, retention of 28,170 existing jobs and leveraging of $3.8 billion in private investment. The EACC has assisted 76 manufacturers through the EDIP program and supported 56 projects in Gateway Cities. The reforms in 2009 also included the creation of important clawback provisions that allows for the Commonwealth to recoup money invested through the credit if companies do not meet their job-creation targets.
According to Vistaprint expansion plans presented previously, the Ledgement property owner plans to construct a 150,00 square-foot expansion to the existing 220,000 square-foot facility. If all goes according to plan, Vistaprint would lease 100,000 square feet of the new space, allowing the company to add 300 full-time jobs and retain the 880 full-time jobs already in Lexington.
As of special Town Meeting’s approval of the TIF in November, the company had not committed to staying, let alone expanding, here in Lexington. However, supporters of the TIF felt offering the incentive would send a message to domestic and international companies that Lexington is a place to plant roots and grow.
“Perception is reality,” Town Meeting member Dawn McKenna said at the time, “And we’ve been working hard to change the perception that Lexington is unfriendly.”