Governor announces Economic Development, promotes Historic Tax Credits

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From left, Jeff Smith Chairman of Chowan County Commissioners; Roland Vaughan,Mayor of Edenton; Hal Burns, General Manager of Jimbo’s Jumbos; Gov. Pat McCrory; and, state House Rep. Bob Steinburg

EDENTON – Gov. McCrory came to Edenton, which he describes as one of his favorite places in the state because of its quality of life. His visit was to announce the expansion of a local business and a growth in jobs.

From left, Reid Rhomas, NC Dept of Cultural Resources; Anne Marie Knighton, Edenton Town Manager; and Claudia Deviney.

The Governor was greeted by state House Rep. Bob Steinburg who escorted him to the Jimbo’s Jumbos peanut plant where he was welcomed by the senior management of the company as well as a large group of elected officials from the Town of Edenton and Chowan County, and state House Rep. Howard Hunter.

Hampton Farms, parent company of Jimbo’s Jumbos, plans a $30 million investment to expand production, creating 78 new jobs and a facility which will have 280,000 square feet under roof.


The land, upon which the plant will be built, is 8.8 acres — provided to the company by the Edenton – Chowan partnership, with a value of approximately $82,000. In addition, a grant was provided by the Department of Commerce in the amount of $560,000 to enhance the water and sewer infrastructure for this project as well as a grant from the One North Carolina Fund based upon the number of employees hired – a cost to the state of approximately $156,000.

In addition, the town of Edenton and the County of Chowan will match that amount based upon the terms of the grant.

Edenton’s Historic Peanunt Mill.

Steinburg introduced the Governor, who acknowledged the importance of this expansion and the fact that the Jimbo’s Jumbos as a very long record of hiring young men and women and providing them with an opportunity to earn a good living in a growing business.

McCrory went on to comment on the experience of the company’s Vice President of Operations. Despite an offense committed in his teen years – and time spent in prison — the man was hired to do the most menial of tasks, and gradually climbed to the upper ranks of management.

The governor said this was an example of what good corporate leadership should be about, giving people a “second chance.

In his remarks, Hal Burns, general manager, said the company had been working diligently to meet the demand of their customers and that this new facility is a key element. He recognized people from the audience who have been instrumental in the success of the company to date, including employees from their wholly-owned division, Severn Peanut Company, which sells the peanut seeds to farmers and receives the peanuts after harvest.

Some of the farmers are sixth generation growers! Burns compared the employees and their farmer partners as a family of people working toward a common interest in the service of their customers.

There were other speakers, one of which was Roland Vaughan, the mayor of Edenton, who originally purchased a small peanut processing company. Its owner was the ‘Jim’ in the Jimbo’s Jumbos name, which he ultimately sold.

Upon completion of the ceremonies, the Governor went to the offices of Cy and Simon Rich, who purchased and then renovated the Old Historic Peanut Mill located at 401 East Church St. Among the various purposes for this visit, was the opportunity to feature this building — added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

The governor was promoting the use of Historic Tax Credits, which can be used by developers for a whole variety of Commercial Purposes such as the mill and the surrounding residential structures that were originally for the people who worked in the mill. He introduced Susan W. Kluttz, Secretary of the NC Department of Cultural Resources. The Secretary expounded upon the ways in which Historic Tax Credits can be used.

Many of the attendees later boarded a trolley and were given a tour of Historic Edenton which included numerous stops, all of which were old buildings that had been restored under the Tax Credit program, including some currently under renovation.

By all accounts, this day started out with a game changer of significant proportions for the Town of Edenton, and ended remembering its past.

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