Jefferson County Board to Offer SAJ Up to $1.25M to Create More Jobs

In November, we reported that L&R Distributors Inc. of Brooklyn, N.Y., was buying the assets of SAJ Distributors, formerly owned by Stephen L. LaFrance Holdings, from Walgreen Co.

Walgreen had bought SAJ, which includes the private label line Select Brand, from LaFrance Holdings in July as part of its $438 million purchase of LaFrance's USA Drug chain.

As part of the announcement, L&R said it would operate the SAJ Distribution Center and offices in Pine Bluff under the SAJ name and retain "many existing SAJ staff who work in customer service, accounting, purchasing and operations." L&R also said it would maintain "the existing SAJ sales staff, delivery methods and inventory mix."

According to the Pine Bluff Commercial, the Economic Development Corporation of Jefferson County, also known as the tax board, is working to make sure SAJ creates even more jobs.

The paper noted on New Year's Day that the board agreed to a proposal that would offer L&R up to $1.25 million to create an additional 81 jobs at SAJ. L&R expects the company to have 119 workers when it finally takes over the operation late this month or the next.

The story also rounds up some other economic incentives the board has doled out -- or is planning to -- in order to save or create jobs. Beneficiaries include Entergy Arkansas and Vivione Biosciences, which received $73,000 from the tax board.

You can read the full Commercial report here.

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