State gives TechMedia network incentive
Thursday , July 11, 2013 - 5:31 PM
OGDEN — Online tech and science website producer TechMedia Network is expanding its offices in Weber County through a state incentive program.
The Governor’s Office of Economic Development Board of Directors announced on Thursday that it approved a $610,254 Economic Development Tax Increment Finance tax credit for TechMedia.
Through the incentive from the governor’s office, TechMedia will create 75 new jobs including editorial, development and administration at its Ogden offices, over the next decade.
“We’ve had a very loyal workforce here,” said Randall Bombrough, TechMedia’s chief financial officer. “It’s given us the ability to grow our business. The types of people that we got have been very helpful in growing our business and we expect to attract more people to help with the expansion of the company.”
In return for the incentive, state officials said, over the 10-year life of the agreement the company will pay out more than $32.9 million new wages, as well as provide approximately $3 million in new state taxes and invest $3.4 million in capital expansion at its headquarters.
“We’re thrilled to be expanding our presence in Utah and to take full advantage of the highly-skilled workforce the state has to offer,” said Doug Llewellyn, Chief Operating Officer, TechMedia Network in a news release. “As we continue to invest in and grow our company, as seen by our recent acquisition of technology publisher Bestofmedia Group, Utah will remain a mainstay of our operations and a cornerstone of our growth.”
TechMedia Network makes content for businesses and consumers through websites such as TopTenReviews, Tom’s Hardware, LAPTOP and Space.com, producing original videos, news stories, product reviews and reference articles daily.
To qualify for the incentive, TechMedia — which not only has offices in Ogden, but in cities such as American Fork, New York City and Paris — had to show its jobs could have been taken out of state.
It also needs to demonstrate that the jobs will pay at least 125 percent of the county’s average annual wage, including benefits. In the end, Michael Sullivan, communications director at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, said the jobs should be closer to 150 percent.
“You can see they are good jobs,” Sullivan said.
In addition to work by the company, Weber County also needed to show that it would match the incentives provided by the state.
Sullivan said the program has helped about 20 companies a year since it was established during Gov. Jon Hunstman’s administration. In that time, counties have done everything from expedite a building permit to provide curb and gutter to help provide a match.
“It’s a fairly stringent arrangement,” Sullivan said.
Before the state agreed to help TechMedia, the company underwent months of vetting.
“They could have located those jobs anywhere else besides Utah,” Sullivan said. “It has to be competitive.”
In the past, the state has worked with aerospace, defense, finance and outdoor recreation companies, to provide incentives.
The program also helped bring Proctor & Gamble to Brigham City and Hershey’s to Business Depot Ogden.
Sullivan said Utah provides a highly educated and productive workforce, as well as low corporate tax rates and less regulation.