MYRTLE BEACH — A locally owned screenprinting business has moved into a much larger building in Myrtle Beach and already started hiring for some of the 79 jobs it’s creating as a result of the expansion.
Native Sons, which added about 30 jobs in the past year and now has about 70 employees, plans to immediately hire between 10 and 15 second-shift workers including screenprinters, with salaries ranging from $8 to $14 an hour, said Steve Taylor, who owns the company. The hiring comes as Native Sons settles into its newly renovated, 56,000-square-foot building on Executive Avenue in the space formerly occupied by Habitat for Humanity. It’s just a short distance from where Native Sons had operated in a 21,000-square-foot space that lacked a loading dock and had become too small to keep up with the company’s increasing number of potential orders, Taylor said.
The company has printed millions of shirts during the past few years just for one of its biggest customers, retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, he said.
“We were just packed over there,” he said. “We could not take on any more clients. This gives us the ability and flexibility to expand and grow.”
The company moved into the spot, which Native Sons bought and renovated for about $2.5 million, even before local government agencies had signed off on the incentives for the project. On Tuesday, Horry County Council gave final approval to an incentive package that includes a 50 percent reduction in annual property taxes for 20 years.
“The good news is, before they moved into that building, it was occupied by a nonprofit. That meant no property taxes at all,” Candace Howell, spokeswoman for the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp., said in an email. “Now an estimated $600,000 in property taxes will be paid over the next 20 years.”
In exchange for the incentives, Native Sons has agreed to invest $3 million in the project and create 79 full-time jobs in three years, with some of that hiring already taking place and the firm aiming to hire between 10 and 15 workers each year until the deadline, Taylor said. The jobs include screenprinters, but they also seek an artist, web manager and sales representative, he said.
“These aren’t all manufacturing jobs,” Taylor said.
“We are growing in all directions.”
Despite the Great Recession, business has been booming for Native Sons – founded in 1984 by a group of entrepreneurs including Taylor, who grew up in the area.
“Fortunately, you don’t need to go get a loan to buy a T-shirt,” he said. “T-shirts are, to a certain degree, recession-proof.”
The move to the new building has been in the works for about 18 months, Taylor said.
The company also bought the neighboring lot so it will have room to expand when the time comes.
“We want to keep growing,” Taylor said. “We don’t want to stop here.”
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