DU QUOIN, Ill. (KFVS) - The city of Du Quoin, Illinois is slated to get a new hemp manufacturing company by spring 2020, potentially bringing dozens of jobs to the city.
Mayor Guy H. Alongi announced the opening of a new business in the Industrial Park on his Facebook page.
With a license from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, operations will open a process and transport Industrial Hemp plant.
“Thirty or 40 jobs in Du Quoin is huge for a population of 5,800 people," Alongi said. “Anytime a small community of our size can attract a seven or eight million dollar industry, and come up with the jobs to boot with good paying wages and benefits, it’s a plus.”
The hemp oil extraction manufacturing company, whose name is confidential at this phase, will invest $7.5 million. The city of Du Quoin will put up $250,000 for development, $150,000 is coming from the city and a $100,000 will come from a private lender that will be paid back over a period of 10 years through their TIFF district.
Slainte Real Estate Property LLC own the property. It will be located in the former General Henry Bakery.
Alongi said this will not only impact the city, but also the region. One local restaurant general manager, Abby Ancell, said this new business is good for other businesses.
“Our lunch business might increase and it just brings people to the area,” she said.
St. Nicholas Brewing Company has been in business for six years.
“Whenever you are filling empty building that’s have sat there forever and people want to come in from the outside and put a new business in..It’s great news for all of us,” Ancell said.
Another business up the road on North Hickory Street is called Odds and Ends, selling flowers, chairs, clothing and more. Owner Harley Jones has owned this store for nine years.
Jones said bringing in a new manufacturing company may not impact him directly, but he’s happy with the big picture.
“Whether it means anything for me or not, business-wise, it’s still good to have the jobs. It would be less people on unemployment or unemployed,” Jones said.
This business was made possible by the Federal Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 and the passage of the Illinois Industrial Hemp Act of 2019, Mayor Alongi said.
Operations are expected to begin in spring of 2020 after some investment and improvements.
Planning for the new business took place for more than a year with input from the City of Du Quoin and the agribusiness company.
They are working to complete a tax increment financing benefit for the company.
Mayor Alongi said there is no marijuana involved in the process and there is no marijuana located on the premises of the production facility.
The mayor said this project motivates him to look for more business to bring to the city.
“We’ll go back to the drawing board and see if we can’t attract something else for Du Quoin later down the road,” Alongi said.
The City of Du Quoin will hold a joint job fair to assist the company. Details about the job fair will be announced to the public.
During the interim, the public is asked to avoid the building and premises as it is an active construction site.