Community ‘sold’ EF Hutton America on move to Springfield

Springfield wasn’t at the top of the list of potential sites when EF Hutton America started searching for a new headquarters.

It had looked at sites in Florida, Connecticut and New Jersey, as well as Cleveland and Cincinnati, Chamber of Greater Springfield President and CEO Mike McDorman said.

Company officials took a last-minute look at Springfield and the deal came together quickly from there.

“It was a matter of the community selling them on Springfield,” McDorman said. “Can we deliver the talent that they were looking to hire as they ramped their company up?”

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Local leaders hosted a meeting with the company at the CareerConnectEd Center downtown. EF Hutton America officials were sold on the region’s efforts to improve workforce development and area colleges and universities, McDorman said, and even factors such as recent development downtown and the local park system.

“That went a long way in telling them very early that we could deliver the talent that I told him we could deliver and do it very quickly,” McDorman said.

JobsOhio plans to offer an incentive package as part of the move, but said no plans have been finalized and no further details are available.

In Springfield, the city is considering a seven-year employment incentive grant based on the number of jobs the firm creates, Assistant City Manager Tom Franzen said. If the company creates 415 jobs, the final value of the grant could be as much as $1.5 million to $1.7 million.

>>READ MORE: EF Hutton America move to Springfield ‘catalytic moment’ for resurgence

City commissioners are expected to vote on the incentive package once it is finalized in the coming weeks, Franzen said.

The incentives — and income taxes generated — are reviewed annually.

“If they don’t create the jobs, obviously they’re not going to create the (tax) withholdings and then we’ll know and will not make the payment,” Franzen said. “It’s entirely performance based.”

The incentives from the city and state leveled the playing field with competing states, McDorman said. But company officials look at a broad range of issues before deciding to settle on Springfield.

>>DETAILS: EF Hutton deal may spur development in downtown Springfield

“All those things culminated in a very compelling story that we have a vision, we have a plan, we’re working the plan and they see us as a community with a lot of opportunity moving forward,” McDorman said.

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