May 3, 2023 - Business

Sherwin job cuts nearby won't affect Cleveland jobs-creation grant

Construction site for new Sherwin Williams headquarters in downtown Cleveland, with Terminal Tower in the background

The Sherwin-Williams construction site in December. Photo: Courtesy of The Sherwin-Williams Company

The forthcoming closing of a Sherwin-Williams aerosol production plant in Bedford Heights, and the resulting loss of 51 jobs, will not affect an $11.5 million jobs-creation grant from the City of Cleveland.

Flashback: Sherwin-Williams, a Fortune 500 paint and coatings company founded in Cleveland in the 19th century, secured the grant in 2020 as part of a $100 million incentive package tied to the construction of its global headquarters downtown and a research and development facility in Brecksville.

Driving the news: A city spokesperson told Axios that the grant — which would reimburse Sherwin 50% of income taxes from new jobs created for 15 years, with a maximum payout of $11.5 million — "has nothing to do with any job losses or gains at facilities outside of the City of Cleveland."

Why it matters: The city's interpretation means that Sherwin-Williams could receive tax breaks for creating jobs in Cleveland even if it reduces the total number of jobs in the region.

  • The new HQ will house the 3,100 employees who currently work in Cleveland plus additional positions the company creates.
  • Sherwin-Williams had expected to add 140 new jobs, but the city's grant provided an incentive for further growth.

Catch up quick: The bulk of Cleveland's $100 million package was a 30-year tax increment financing agreement to help with project financing, now standard for big development projects in Cleveland.

  • It also included a $13.5 million construction grant from its department of economic development.
  • The $300 million 36-floor office tower is under construction on the parking lots west of Public Square.

State of play: A city spokesperson told Axios that Sherwin-Williams has received nearly $937,000 from the jobs-creation grant so far.

Meanwhile: Sherwin-Williams announced that it would close its aerosol plant in Bedford Heights on June 30.

  • "With the reduced volume and corresponding reduction in capacity utilization, it no longer makes good business sense to continue operations at this site," Julie Young, Sherwin-Williams vice president of corporate communications, wrote in an April 28 letter to Bedford Mayor Stanley Koci.

What they're saying: Young confirmed to Axios that "the closing of the Sherwin-Williams Bedford Heights facility and subsequent job losses does not apply to the City of Cleveland incentives related to the Building Our Future project."

  • In her letter, she said Sherwin-Williams was "committed to working with Bedford Heights employees during this transition."

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