LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (AP) — A Czech gun manufacturer will open its North American headquarters in Little Rock at a production plant that the company said will ultimately hire 565 employees, Arkansas officials announced Tuesday.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said CZ-USA will invest up to $90 million over a six-year period to build and staff a factory in the state's capital city. Hutchinson appeared at a news conference with Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott and other officials.
CZ-USA chairman Bogdan Heczko said Little Rock felt like home when company representatives visited the city last year. He said the city's "trained workforce" and gun-friendly attitude "really aligned with our company culture."
CZ-USA also operates a Dan Wesson plant in Norwich, New York, and a small distribution and marketing plant in Kansas City, Kansas, which will close when it opens the planned 265,000 square-foot (24,619 square-meter) facility in Little Rock.
According to Arkansas Economic Development Commission spokeswoman Brandi Hinkle, the company will receive an incentive package from the state that includes $18 million in forgivable loans, $6 million in infrastructure and training grants, and tax rebates and refunds. In order to qualify for some of the incentives, the company will need to spend a minimum of $2 million in new hires within the first two years.
Central Arkansas is home to a number of gun manufacturers, including a Sig Sauer facility in Jacksonville and a Remington plant in Lonoke.