Local, state and federal officials gathered at Hickey Freeman’s factory store in Rochester to announce a more than $8 million investment in the company to expand its product lines and add 80 more jobs to its plant on North Clinton Avenue.
Company CEO Stephen Granovski told the scores of employees who got together for the announcement that it would secure Hickey Freeman’s future for a very long time.
New York State is providing $4 million through Empire State Development for an expansion that includes launching a new clothing brand, a re-engineering of the factory, and manufacturing dress shirts in Rochester, immediately adding 20 jobs.
Empire State Development Regional Director Vince Esposito says the state is offering incentives through a convertible loan in exchange for job creation.
``Maintain the 420 jobs that they’re starting in this factory, and if they grow to 500 jobs and maintain those for three years, the full $4 million dollar loan will be converted into a grant, in essence, forgiven,” he said.
Granovsky says another $4 million dollars comes from shareholders, and just under another $1 million comes from the city and the county.
Senator Chuck Schumer, who has long advocated for the men’s clothier, said he wants this company to be a metaphor for America.
``We’ve had a great history, like Hickey, as a country. And then there are new changes that come about and you wonder about the future. And instead of getting angry, and instead of abandoning hope, you adapt. That’s what Hickey has done, that’s what today symbolizes,” he said.
He says thanks to work from every level of government, Rochester’s 120-year old storied institution is set up for an even longer and brighter future.
Senator Schumer talks about the iconic company and its new expansion plan: