United Natural Foods Inc (“UNFI”) is a natural, organic, and specialty foods and nonfood distributor with 8,700 employees and 31 distribution centers in the United States and Canada. UNFI maintains its corporate headquarters in Providence and currently has nearly 450 employees in the state. UNFI plans to relocate a portion of its transactional operations — including accounts payable and receivable — and consolidate transactional and support personnel from its recent business acquisitions to the Providence metro area.
The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation is recommending that its board award UNFI an estimated $1,873,805 in tax credits under the Qualified Jobs Incentive Tax Credit Program. The company has committed to bringing 100 new full-time employees to Rhode Island by 2018, growing to 150 new full-time employees by 2020. Additionally, if UNFI reaches 190, 230, or 270 new full-time employees by 2021, 2022, or 2024, respectively, the company will be eligible for increased incentives. The new Rhode Island full-time employees will have a median annual salary of $33,500, ranging from $33,500 to $85,000. UNFI plans to locate the new jobs at a facility in the Providence metro area, as well as its existing Providence headquarters.
UNFI is seeking to relocate a portion of its transactional operations and consolidate transactional and other support personnel from its recent business acquisitions.
The company plans to invest approximately $2.5 million in relocation costs and the buildout of a new office in the Providence metro area.
UNFI will hire 100 new full-time employees by 2018, increasing to 150 new full-time employees by 2020. Employees will be located at a combination of a to-be-determined facility in the Providence metro area and UNFI’s existing Providence headquarters.
The corporation has negotiated Qualified Jobs Incentive Tax Credits to the company with an estimated value of $1,873,805 for the 150 new cumulative jobs. The value of this incentive is derived entirely from personal income taxes, which would not otherwise occur in Rhode Island but for UNFI’s decision to consolidated its operations in Rhode Island.
The recommended term of the tax incentive agreement is 10 years, for which the company will commit to maintaining the new jobs in Rhode Island for at least 12 years, as required by state statute.
Subject to the award of this incentive package from Rhode Island, UNFI has agreed to add the new full-time positions in Rhode Island.
Based on a third-party analysis, direct and indirect economic and fiscal benefits of the proposed project include increased annual state GDP in 2020 of $9.7 million, related 18 construction and 179 ongoing direct and indirect jobs created and increased personal income, as well as sales and business corporation tax revenues during the construction phase and ongoing operations over the 12 years of the agreement, with a combined estimated value of approximately $4.8 million.