By PAULA TRACY, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD – Back for more money after receiving $21 million in an unconditional state loan guarantee in 2020, worldwide gun manufacturer Sig Sauer is asking for $33.1 million more to build more space to make weapons in Rochester.
The application, which goes before Republican Gov. Chris Sununu and the Republican controlled Executive Council Wednesday, is backed by the quasi public Business Finance Authority.
A public hearing is planned at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Executive Council chambers of the State House and a vote is expected after.
This is money to build a 27,700 square foot addition to its existing 89,000 square foot manufacturing facility at 7 Amarosa Drive, formerly Cabletron and once home to Stonewall Kitchen. The gated property is off Milton Road, near a traffic circle.
Enterprise Bank and Trust Co. is involved in the transaction.
The proposed resolution states that this second, unconditional state guarantee “will preserve the social or economic prosperity of the state and one or more of its political subdivisions and will promote the general welfare of the state’s citizens.”
The loan rate is set at 4.3 percent for the term for 86 months. It does not state how many new jobs will be created.
Similar to the last loan, the BIA will purchase the building space and lease it back to Sig Saur and the BFA will float a taxpayer-backed bond, giving the gun manufacturer a tax benefit as an incentive to help create new jobs.
In October 2020 the company claimed that the $21 million state-backed bond would help them create 150 new jobs and relocate about 150 other workers from Dover.
Opponents say that the free market should work instead and not give state-backed loans just for some large corporations while others believe incentives are needed to keep jobs here and create more.
This particular request comes at a time when guns and high capacity guns are the subject of debate following a massacre of 18 people in Lewiston, Maine.
Back in 2020, the company was asked what sort of weapons it would be manufacturing with the funds it received as a guaranteed loan from the state and they declined to answer.
A copy of the requested action on the council table is here: