BISSELL expands in Grand Rapids area

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FILE- In this Aug. 15, 2018, file photo a worker labors on the scaffolding below the Route 495 viaduct ahead of a project to remodel the bridge which feeds into the Lincoln Tunnel in North Bergen, N.J. On Monday, Oct. 1, the Commerce Department reports on U.S. construction spending in August. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

According to our partners at MLive BISSELL has received a $500,000 state performance-based grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The amount will be paid out over a three-year period as BISSELL meets job creation goals.

The goal of the expansion is to create enough space for another 150 workers, which will allow for planned growth through 2020 and beyond, according to an MEDC memo outlining the grant funding. In addition to the MEDC grant, the city of Walker is also considering offering BISSELL a tax break.

The company is currently undertaking a $10 million expansion that includes adding 25,000-square-feet of office space at its corporate headquarters in Walker. According to our affiliate station WOOD, BISSELL began operating in West Michigan in 1876. The family-owned company now locally employs 490 people.

“Grand Rapids, and it’s healthy business environment, have been integral to BISSELL operations for over 140 years,” the company’s chairmen and CEO, Mark Bissell, said in a statement. “We continue to see employment growth in this community. The decision to continue our investment here made sense.”

BISSELL, which has locations and business offices around the world, manufactures and markets vacuums, carpet sweepers, deep cleaners, hard surface appliances and a full line of floor cleaning consumables.

In its request to MEDC for assistance, BISSELL said locations in Chicago and Charlotte, North Carolina would provide better access to skilled workers than Walker and “are more attractive as there would be less capital investment for expansion.”

“Incentive assistance is necessary to assist with capital expenditures and to help secure the jobs in Michigan,” according to the MEDC memo outlining the grant request.

The Right Place, a Grand Rapids-based economic development organization, said it worked with BISSELL and the MEDC to ensure the company chose to expand in Michigan as opposed to Chicago or North Carolina. The Right Place also connected the company with West Michigan Works! to provide training for new workers.

“This expansion project from a global leader like BISSELL reaffirms that West Michigan is a world-class destination for business success,” Birgit Klohs, president and CEO of The Right Place, said in a statement. “It is why we are steadfast in our support of existing companies in the region, assisting them as they continue to grow, invest, and ultimately create jobs in the community.”

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