Fort Worth City Council voted in favor of nominating two major manufacturers for the Texas Enterprise Zone (EZ) program in a bid to stimulate economic expansion and job creation in “economically distressed” areas through nearly $190 million in capital investments.
City officials passed the two resolutions naming both Alcon Research and Bell Textron as nominees for an EZ designation that would grant them enticing refunds in state sales and use tax.
The EZ program is a state tool to attract capital investments in certain parts of the state to fuel job growth. The greater the company’s investment, the larger the refund.
Alcon Research is a leader in the eye care and surgical device manufacturing industry with humble origins. It started in Fort Worth in 1945 under the initiative of two local pharmacists. Now operating worldwide, the manufacturer announced $2.3 billion in sales for Q1 2023.
From its facility at 6201 South Freeway in Fort Worth, Alcon is prepared to make substantial capital investments amounting to $153 million, according to the Dallas Business Journal.
Between 2023 and 2028, these investments will be allocated across the company’s manufacturing operations, including packaging and compounding, while also striving to expand them.
Across these five years, Alcon Research becomes eligible for a range of benefits. The company will enjoy a state sales and use tax refund on qualified expenditures of $2,500 per job for a maximum of 500 jobs.
It stands to gain a maximum benefit of $1.25 million — a powerful catalyst for job creation within the region.
Headquartered in Fort Worth at 3255 Bell Flight Blvd., Bell Textron is a distinguished manufacturer specializing in aerospace and defense technologies. It operates across the world, serving both military and commercial clients.
As The Dallas Express reported last year, the manufacturer landed a huge military helicopter contract with the U.S. Army, which was seeking to progressively swap out its fleet of Black Hawks for the more advanced V-280 Valor.
Bell Textron plans capital investments of approximately $35.7 million at its Fort Worth complex, according to the Dallas Business Journal.
It aims to make several comprehensive updates and renovations through these funds. A good chunk will go toward purchasing new manufacturing equipment and investing in integrating digital design systems and robotics into its operations over the next five years.
The investment will similarly qualify Bell Textron for a tax refund on qualified expenditures of $2,500 per job for a maximum of 500 jobs.
To qualify for the EZ incentives, both manufacturers will have to ensure that 35% of their new hires or retained employees are either residents of the designated zone or considered “economically disadvantaged.”