Grant to help Opp with road

Published 11:59 pm Monday, November 23, 2009

A new $350,000 grant for the City of Opp announced Monday by Speaker of the House Seth Hammett (D-Andalusia) and state Sen. Jimmy Holley (R-Elba) will mean up to six new jobs at a local business.

The money, which will construct of a new industrial access road into the city’s industrial park, was awarded by the state Industrial Access Road and Bridge Authority and will allow for Opp’s Custom Collars to move into the city’s industrial park.

Custom Collars, which is owned by Bruce Cauley of Opp, has been in business for eight years and currently employs eight people. It is located in a small building off U.S. Hwy. 331 near the old Dairy Queen. The move to the industrial park will give the company, which manufactures pet supplies including collars, leashes and blanks for the retail and wholesale markets, approximately 10,000 square-feet of workspace.

“The bulk of our business is over the Internet and though magazine orders,” Cauley said. “We’ve been staying pretty busy and really needed more room. We don’t do a lot of advertising locally, but if you’ve watched Cesar Millan, ‘The Dog Whisper,’ you’ve seen our products.

“We’ve been making for him for the last two years, and business has grown,” he said. “We are very excited about our move.”

The city may seek additional grants to extend the access road when other businesses agree to locate there, officials said.

Cauley said he “looks (for) to up 14” total employees once the move is complete.

“Every job is crucial to a small city,” Hammett said. “This grant will enable the city to begin development of a strategic site to attract manufacturers that will provide good-paying jobs. I appreciate the commission’s willingness to invest in Opp.”

Holley said the grant will boost Opp’s ability to lure new businesses to the city.

“A location with good highway access is a factor new and expanding businesses consider,” Holley said.

Opp Mayor H.D. Edgar thanked those involved for their support.

“We are extremely pleased with this award and look forward to continuing work on the industrial park,” Edgar said.