EDA approves money for Acesur

Published 9:20 pm Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Suffolk Economic Development Authority board formally approved a pair of agreements Wednesday that will help pave the way for a Spanish olive oil manufacturing company to operate in the Suffolk Industrial Park.

The EDA approved a $120,000 Economic Development Investment Program grant for Acesur to help offset the company’s costs to open a blending, bottling and packing operation under its subsidiary, Acesur USA LLC.

Acesur plans to invest $11 million and create 29 new jobs as part of the deal. The investment amount includes the initial sale price, according to the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance.

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The company also received a $120,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Development Opportunity Fund, which the board also approved.

Acesur is also eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program, as well as funding services to support employee training activities through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

The money from the EDA will match the money awarded from the Development Opportunity Fund, which the state describes as a deal-closing fund to be used at the governor’s discretion to secure a company coming in a particular location within the state.

Acesur acquired the former Flexa Furniture manufacturing facility that closed about eight years ago for $5 million.

“Their purchase of that building is a real coup for us in the city, but in particular, Suffolk Industrial Park,” said Assistant Economic Development Director Gregory Byrd.

Byrd noted that a number of the jobs the company will be bringing to the city will pay more than $42,000 per year, while a handful of jobs will pay just under $30,000 per year.

“The VDEP, they won’t offer this Commonwealth Opportunity Fund if the salaries aren’t at the representative level for the number of people that do it,” Byrd said.

Byrd said the company expects its equipment to be at the facility sometime in July and could be ready to open by the end of the year.

“The neat part about it is that the building’s obviously configured for them to do what they want,” Byrd said. “But they’ve got some up-fit to do that’s reflected here as well as the actual equipment for the bottling and packaging, and so forth. It’s just a great, new opportunity for us.”