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Bully Tools growth good news for area

Our area’s economy got a boost last week when a local company announced plans for a multi-million dollar expansion.

Bully Tools, which has called the Jefferson County Industrial Park home for the last 25 years, said on Jan. 5 it planned to make a $6.7 million investment that would include a 60,000-square-foot expansion, a project that officials estimate will create 30 new jobs.

It’s growth that is needed to meet the demand for the firm’s line of tools. That catalog includes lawn and garden, farm, snow removal, home and other specialty long-handled tools.

According to Mark Gracy, the company’s owner, Bully has seen double-digit sales growth that has averaged 14.5 percent during the past nine years.

That number was 20 percent in 2020. The reason, Gracy said, is the company’s commitment to manufacturing quality tools that are made in America.

The company’s products are available locally and through national retailers and online shopping platforms. Its attention to details in design and manufacturing has been recognized on many levels, and its all-purpose garden shovel has been named the best a consumer could purchase by the Wirecutter product review site.

A collaborative effort among Bully and several agencies and other governmental bodies made the decision to expand possible. That included the Jefferson County commissioners, who on Nov. 12 approved a 60 percent tax abatement for the project; Island Creek Township and the Edison Local School District, which also OK’d abatements; JobsOhio; Ohio Southeast Economic Development; and the Jefferson County Port Authority.

It’s a partnership, Gracy explained, that shows officials at the local level and in Columbus are serious about keeping and expanding manufacturing jobs in Ohio.

Those efforts show a commitment to our part of the state. They bode well for economic growth and the creation of additional jobs.

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