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$2.8M in Tennessee FastTrack grants were awarded in first 2 months of 2024

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(The Center Square) – Tennessee has awarded a $900,000 incentive to AYM Inc. for an expansion in Sullivan County and $520,000 to A.O. Smith Corp. for its new expansion in Cheatham County.

Tennessee awarded more than $1 million in grants in February after awarding nearly $1.8 million in January.

The incentives are FastTrack grants from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

FastTrack grants are state grants sent to companies to help offset the costs of expanding or moving into the state with the goal of increasing the number of full-time jobs and the average wages of jobs available in an area.

Economists question the effectiveness of financial incentives to private businesses to expand or come to a new state, but state and local governments continue to expand the incentives.

The A.O. Smith incentive comes due to subsidiary Lochinvar’s planned $35 million expansion in a manufacturing facility and headquarters in Lebanon that will lead to 141 additional jobs at 300 Maddox-Simpson Parkway.

The company builds high-efficiency water heating and manufactures residential and commercial boilers, commercial water heaters, heat pumps, pool and spa heaters and storage tanks.

A.Y. McDonald is a plumbing and pipe manufacturing company with a plant in Elizabethton since 1999 that has expanded by doubling twice since then, in the early 2000s and 2019.

The company is planning to spend $53.5 million on a new location in Sullivan County.

The TNEDC recently asked for $78 million for next year’s budget for the FastTrack program after receiving $92 million in 2022, $432 million in 2023 and $110 million in 2024.

Overall, the department asked for $137.3 million in one-time funding along with a $27.4 million increase in its annual funding request. This year’s Fasttrack request is lower, in part, because items that were previously funded through the program will become separate budget items next fiscal year.

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