An economic incentive from Pasco County is supporting the expansion of a manufacturing business in Compark 75, off Wesley Chapel Boulevard.
Soule Company plans to construct a 100,000-square-foot building on a 7.7-acre parcel, at 26543 Wild Fern Circle. The new facility represents an $8 million investment, according to Pasco County figures.
The structure will be built next to the company’s existing 62,000-square-foot building, in the industrial business park.
Soule Company has two divisions: One fabricates packaging products made to customer specifications; the other fabricates disposable foam positioning products for the medical community.
The professional packaging division distributes a full line of packaging and shipping supplies, including corrugated boxes, poly bags, strapping, stretch films, tapes, among others.
The medical division works closely with medical entities to design, develop, manufacture, and distribute products that assist in patient care, recovery, and healing.
The Pasco County Commission approved an economic incentive package worth $177,172 at its Aug. 4, to support the company’s plans.
The new manufacturing building will generate 25 full-time jobs, according to David Engel, the county’s manager of the office of economic growth.
The incentive package includes $50,000 for creating the 25 new jobs; a five-year reimbursement of tangible taxes, which totals $107,171; and, an employee training grant of $20,000 for Pasco-based employees, Engel said.
“The project will generate $4.69 million annually in gross county product, so the return on investment is very substantial,” Engel said, in recommending approval of the agreement.
Jennie Sammurr, who oversees business retention and expansion for the Pasco EDC, told commissioners “the Soule Company is a perfect example of why we have the BRE (business retention and expansion) program and why we do what we do.
“The Soule Company was incorporated in the state of Florida in 1956. This company has been very resilient, has overcome many economic climates that have been challenging — and have continued to grow and expand. Our small businesses are the backbone of our economy, our local economy and they are the backbone of our business community.”
When the Pasco EDC staff met with Jerry Flatt, the company’s CEO, they learned that the company has been considering an expansion for several years, Sammurr said.
“Their company manufactures packaging and shipping supplies and now they’ve added a medical division that allows them to service many of our health care facilities in the area, but also in the Southeastern United States,” she said.
The company has been located in Pasco County since 2001.
Flatt addressed commissioners, via a remote video feed, during the board’s hybrid remote-live meeting.
He told board members: “We’ve grown to the point that we need to add an additional facility.
“We do a lot of packaging with different companies, different manufacturers, both in Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough county. We even sell some product on the East Coast of the state of Florida,” he said.
The company’s medical division has grown exponentially, Flatt said.
“We have new contracts with a number of groups purchasing organizations,” he said.
“We’re looking to increase our business. We supply patient-positioning products that are manufactured out of foam. These are used in surgery applications, for positioning the patient, and that part of our business is really growing.
“So, we decided to put up a new building, and we appreciate the help that you all are offering, to be able to accomplish that,” Flatt said.
“In putting up that building, our medical division will move out of our existing building, which will allow more growth for packaging and allow the growth we need on the medical side,” he said.
He expects the company to hire 10 new employees in the first year, and up to 25 within the third year of opening the facility.
Commission Chairman Mike Moore congratulated Flatt on the company’s success.
Commissioner Jack Mariano thanked the CEO for choosing to expand the company in Pasco.
“We’re delighted to have you,” Mariano said.
Published August 12, 2020