By Paul Gable
A firm from New York state is reportedly looking at the possibility of buying PTR Industries, a deal that could save the company’s operations at Horry County’s Cool Springs Business Park.
PTR Industries was recruited to relocate from Connecticut to Horry County in 2013 by the Myrtle Beach Regional Development Corporation. This was touted as a major coup by MBREDC as Horry County was a successful bidder over several other states in landing PTR Industries.
A package that included an approximately $1 million upgrade of a county spec building at Cool Springs Business Park and incentive based job creation credits was put together by MBREDC and the SC Department of Commerce for PTR Industries.
The company brought approximately 21 workers with it from Connecticut and promised to create an additional 145 jobs in Horry County within three years.
PTR Industries commenced operations in Horry County in January 2014 and hired approximately 28 additional employees in the first months of its operations.
However, it quickly fell behind in its rent payments to Horry County for the Cool Springs Business Park building that is its headquarters and manufacturing location. One week after a Grand Opening celebration, in July 2014, that included appearances by Gov. Nikki Haley and local Congressman Tom Rice, PTR Industries laid off some workers and instituted a 10% across the board pay cut to those remaining.
Since then, PTR Industries has struggled. According to several sources, Horry County Council restructured its rent deal with PTR Industries last fall in order to help the company become current.
According to those same sources, PTR Industries is again in arrears to Horry County by approximately $200,000 with a deadline to cure the arrearage already passed.
A deadline for decision on the possible sale of PTR Industries is reportedly due by next Friday. If the sale is agreed to, the new owners would need approval by Horry County Council to take over the lease at Cool Springs Business Park.
According to several sources requirements for that approval will include payment of past due balances owed to the county.
The difficulties with PTR Industries, coming on the heels of other failed MBREDC deals such as AvCraft and Project Blue, demonstrate, again, why public dollars should not be wasted on economic development deals.