Super-Pufft Snacks USA, a private-label snack manufacturer/distributor in Perry, Florida, revitalized the community in 2017 when they purchased a vacated manufacturing facility that had recently left 250 full-time employees without a job. The loss of a major employer led the City of Perry to reduce its budget by 6% and increase taxes; a devastating blow to a low-income community with a median household wage of 62% of the Florida state average and more than twice the percentage of people living in poverty.
Super-Pufft USA commenced operations in October 2018 at 70% capacity, functioning with outdated equipment and costly mechanical issues. The company considered downsizing or relocating. In 2019, Rural Development Partners provided Super-Pufft with $21.5M in NMTC financing to purchase new equipment, retain 122 jobs, add 275 new jobs, and purchase specialized equipment for the production of both canister and tortilla chips. All jobs created and retained by Super-Pufft are significantly above the living wage and include a full suite of benefits. Of the 397 total jobs, 95% are accessible to low-income persons with a high school degree or equivalent, and all have access to employer-paid training through the local community college.
Rural Development Partners further worked with Super-Pufft to build a community advisory board that would direct a $215K jointly funded grant program targeting local workforce development initiatives. The community advisory board creates and leverages public-private partnerships by empowering leaders from a variety of backgrounds, including education, business, nonprofits, and economic development.
Super-Pufft Snacks USA’s CEO/President, Mahmoud Amrouch shares, “Thanks to this investment, Super-Pufft was able to not only expand our operations and create jobs in our community but also expand our partnerships. Business leaders today can’t simply operate in a community they must also be a partner in community development.”