Thursday, September 1, 2022

Council Nominates Austin Manufacturer "Flex" for State Funds to Help Expansion Plans

An Austin manufacturer that builds a wide range of products, including 20,000 ventilators to help save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been backed by the Austin City Council to be eligible to apply for a refund of qualifying State sales and use taxes paid of over $1 million to help it expand.
 
Flex, which employs about 2,300 people at its site on Research Blvd in northwest Austin, was today nominated by Council for designation as a single Texas Enterprise Zone Project, on the recommendation of the City’s Economic Development Department. Companies must meet minimum capital investment thresholds and create and/or retain jobs that employ a certain percentage of economically disadvantaged individuals, enterprise zone residents, or veterans.
 
The Texas Enterprise Zone nomination means the company is now eligible to apply for up to $1.25 million from the State in sales and use tax refunds. The final decision on the allocation of refunds will be made by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism, which will review applications from across the state starting this month. The amount of the State sales and use tax refund is related to the capital investment and jobs created and/or retained at the qualified business site.
 
If successful, Flex has pledged to use the funds towards investing $20 million in capital expenditures and hiring an additional 200 employees in Austin – more than a third of whom will be economically disadvantaged, live in an enterprise zone, or meet veteran requirements.
 
Flex, an electronics manufacturing services provider and one of the top global manufacturers of medical devices, says the 20,000 ventilators it made in 2020-2021 exceeded the number produced by all other global manufacturers.
 
“It’s quite remarkable that this Austin manufacturer stepped up at the most critical time of need to provide life-saving equipment,” said Rodney Gonzales, Assistant City Manager for Economic Opportunity and Affordability. “With Council’s support, Flex is now in a strong position to win state funding to help it grow and hire more workers in Austin.”
 
“Austin is a great city, and we are proud to be one of its largest manufacturers,” said Cory Engen, Vice President Operations at Flex in Austin. “We appreciate the City of Austin’s support in our efforts to obtain an Enterprise Zone Project designation from the Office of the Governor.”

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