MT. STERLING – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns program today announced the awarding of nearly $800,000 in Opportunity Returns support for Dot Foods in Mount Sterling, the nation’s largest food redistributor, which will allow the company to construct a 165,000 square foot warehouse, creating 50 new jobs and retaining 50 existing jobs. Dot Foods, with more 1,500 full and part-time employees, is one of the largest employers in Western Illinois. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin joined other state and local officials to make the announcement today in Mt. Sterling.
“Opportunity Returns is about making the kinds of investments in companies and communities that are most critical to fostering a more vibrant local economy and creating and retaining quality jobs. Dot Foods is a prime example of a productive company with a long history in the community who needed new resources to accommodate its growing business and continue to reach new customers. Providing this support will allow Dot to expand its facility in Mt. Sterling, helping the company boost its competitiveness and embark on a new era in the same community where it began some 45 years ago,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
The support comes from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). DCEO will provide Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) corporate income tax credits over ten years based on job creation and retention, as well as additional financial benefits, such as sales tax exemptions and tax credits for job creation, resulting from the company’s location within the newly expanded Quincy/Adams County Enterprise Zone.
"We appreciate the support Gov. Blagojevich brings to Dot. This expansion will allow us to maintain a competitive edge in the thriving redistribution industry," said Dot Foods Senior Vice President Jim Tracy. "It will also create important new jobs for area residents and ensure we can service our customers the way they've come to expect."
Since 1960, Dot Foods has been delivering food products quickly and reliably from manufacturers to distributors all across the U.S. Headquartered in Mt. Sterling, Illinois, Dot is a family owned business that has grown from two trucks and a single station wagon driven by the founder, Robert Tracy, to a fleet of more than 500 multi-temp tractor-trailers. Dot Foods brings distributors the largest selection of products of any foodservice redistributor, offering more than 57,000 quality products from 550 food industry manufacturers that its customers know and trust. Dot Foods has additional distribution centers in Modesto, California; Ardmore, Oklahoma; Vidalia, Georgia; Williamsport, Maryland; and Liverpool, New York.
“Gov. Blagojevich understands that this region’s manufacturers and distributors and the thousands of workers they employ are a vital part of our economy and, by giving them the tools they need to succeed, we’re securing good jobs and promoting investment in our communities today and tomorrow. This is what strategic economic development is all about,” State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) said.
“Dot Foods has roots that run deep in Mt. Sterling, and Gov. Blagojevich and I are committed to finding innovative ways to ensure that quality employers remain healthy and viable in today’s global economy. By working with companies like Dot to ensure their facilities and equipment are top of the line, we’re giving them the tools they need to increase their competitiveness and keep this economy moving forward,” said DCEO Director Jack Lavin.
Gov. Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns regional economic development strategy is the most aggressive, comprehensive approach to creating jobs in Illinois’ history. Since a one-size-fits-all approach to economic development just doesn’t work, the Governor has divided the state into 10 regions – each with a regional team that is empowered and expected to rapidly respond to opportunities and challenges. Opportunity Returns is about tangible, specific actions to make each region more accessible, more marketable, more entrepreneurial and more attractive to businesses. It is about upgrading the skills of the local workforce, increasing the access to capital, opening new markets, improving infrastructure, and creating and retaining jobs. Opportunity Returns is about successfully partnering with companies and communities, both large and small, to help all of Illinois reach its economic potential.