Rich Products Gets Some Corporate Welfare
by Paul Wolf - posted 8:37 am, January 5, 2015
Rich Products is a private Buffalo company that had $3.3 billion in revenues in 2014. According to Forbes Magazine Rich Products is the 140th largest private employer in America. When owner Robert E. Rich, Sr. died in 2005, he was one of the wealthiest people in the world, reportedly worth $2 billion, and his company was the largest family-owned food products company in America.
Recently Rich Products completed an $18.5 million expansion of their Buffalo headquarters on Niagara Street. You would think that a company as large and successful as Rich Products could pay their own way, without needing to tap into government assistance, but corporate welfare in New York does not have any limits.
New York State will be supporting Rich’s project with $4.9 million in capital grants and tax incentives, including a $2 million grant from Empire State Development and $2.9 million in tax credits through the Excelsior Jobs Program. Tax incentives totaling nearly $419,000 are anticipated to come through the Erie County Industrial Development Agency as well.
A $2 million grant from the State of New York! Small businesses have to take out loans but billion dollar companies get taxpayer funded grants. Pretty amazing! Believe it or not the New York State Constitution explicitly states that government funds are not to be provided to private businesses but through entities like the Empire State Development Corporation, politicians in desperate need to make friends with the wealthy (for campaign cash & ribbon cuttings) have figured out ways around the Constitution.