Opp gives $15K to factory

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The City of Opp has agreed to provide American Apparel, Inc. with $15,000 to be used to purchase machinery that will allow the company to continue operating with a minimum of 50 employees over the next five years.

The Opp City Council finalized the agreement by approving Resolution 2014-27 at their regular meeting Tuesday.

American Apparel, a leading manufacturer of uniforms for the U.S. military, announced in March it would reopen its doors after being closed for nearly a year. In 2013, some 225 workers with American Apparel found themselves out of work after the company did not get a military contract it was expecting.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Opp City Planner Jason Bryan said the city is providing funds in order to ensure a minimum number of jobs.

“We are providing this assistance so they can purchase equipment for a new contract they are going to get,” Bryan said, adding that if American Apparel could not hold up its end of the bargain, the city would be reimbursed, or would repossess the machinery.

Opp Mayor John Bartholomew said the money, which will come from the city’s general fund, is a good investment in Opp’s future.

“It’s very tough for a city our size to put out that kind of money, but the jobs that will be created will bring back the revenue in retail back into our city,” Bartholomew said. “So, what we are doing is recycling back into our city.”

Bartholomew said American Apparel is currently operating with 125 employees, adding job growth is one of the most important aspects of a successful municipality.

“We’re here to help our businesses to grow,” he said. “And, not just our businesses that are coming in, but our businesses that are already here.”