FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Ruiz Foods announced a $79 million dollar expansion that will bring more than 700 jobs to the area.
Councilman Alphonso Bradley said the county is working with the Florence Economic Development partnership to expand companies in Florence.
“When they do an expansion that means they want to stay. They like being here,” said Bradley.
Robert Bouyea, with the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) said the unemployment rate in April was the lowest it’s been in 16 years at 4.3 percent.
“Businesses are making the decision that SC is where they want to do business,” said Bouyea.
Bradley said the expansion agreement will impact people in surrounding counties.
“In the whole Pee Dee area. I’m sure workers will be coming from all of those areas. They will be coming into town spending money, buying gas, groceries, clothes and everything,” explained Bradley.
A Ruiz spokesperson said the expansion will bring 705 jobs. Bradley says it will also create jobs for local contractors during the building phase.
“That’s what we want. We have been focusing on supporting local businesses, vendors and contractors,” Bradley said.
County Administrator Rusty Smith said Ruiz Foods will pay a 6% fee instead of paying standard 10% property tax. The contract will also keep the millage rate the same.
Florence County Council will have the third reading and public hearing for the agreement Thursday morning during the county council meeting.
Pee Dee Regional Workforce Board released this statement:
“Pee Dee Workforce Board is very excited about the $79 million investment and the 700 additional new jobs that Ruiz is bringing to the Pee Dee Area. We look forward to working with them through the SC Works Pee Dee system to recruit, hire and train these individuals.”
Ruiz Foods will hold a press conference July 11th.