Berkshire Business: Modern Mold and Tool, Shire City Herbal granted incentives to expand

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PITTSFIELD — Two Pittsfield businesses planning to expand are among 13 companies in 11 Massachusetts communities that have received state tax incentives to help them finance those projects.

Modern Mold and Tool Inc. has received $145,000 in investment tax credits towards a $3 million manufacturing retention project, while Shire City Herbals, the makers of Fire Cider, has received $74,000 in tax incentives towards a $1.2 million expansion initiative.

Combined, the two Pittsfield firms plan to create 30 new jobs and retain 64 existing positions.

The tax incentives were approved by the state's Economic Assistance Coordinating Council through its Economic Development Incentive Program. The EDIP is the state's tax credit program for businesses. EDIP tax credits and other incentives are available to companies that make qualifying investments in new facilities and create new jobs.

The 13 projects that received funding are expected to create 1,181 jobs, retain 4,685 positions and deliver $469 million in private investment. Six of the projects that received tax incentives in this quarter are manufacturers, while eight projects are located in Gateway Cities like Pittsfield.

"Providing incentives for our businesses to expand and hire new people is an investment in the future of the Commonwealth, and will ensure employment and business opportunities for our residents," said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash in a statement.

Founded in the 1950s. Modern Mold & Tool's facility on East Street was sold for $1.2 million in February 2016 to Steven L. Graham, the owner and CEO of the East Longmeadow-based Toner Plastics Team. It is one of four plastics firms that currently belong to Toner. The company specializes in design, engineering, complex mold manufacturing and injection molding. Modern Mold is currently expanding its operations, and plans to add 20 new jobs and retain 50 existing positions, according to information supplied by the state.

Shire City Herbals manufactures fire cider, an organic apple cider vinegar tonic. The company is planning to build a new commercial kitchen and expand its office and warehouse space on West Housatonic Street. The expansion will create 10 new jobs and retain 14 positions. The city of Pittsfield has also approved a $42,788 tax incentive package towards Shire City Herbals' expansion project.

Contact Business Editor Tony Dobrowolski at 413 496-6224.

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