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Pitney Bowes receives millions in state funds to stay in Conn.

The state of Connecticut is giving the Stamford-based office technology company Pitney Bowes $10 million in forgivable loans and $17 million additional in loans, grants and tax credits, in order to keep the company in the state. An announcement today by the company and the state’s office of economic and community development says Pitney Bowes is the latest company to join in Connecticut’s increasingly-misnamed “First Five” program, which has now awarded state money to 11 companies. The goal is to attract new businesses or encourage them to stay and grow in the state.  Lee Walton is the company’s vice president of government affairs. She says they were considering leaving Connecticut.

“We had very serious substantive conversations with the state of New York," says Walton. "They were very interested in Pitney Bowes moving our headquarters to Westchester County, and so we had very serious discussions about any assistance they might be able to offer us to do that.”

Connecticut will give Pitney Bowes a $15 million loan, of which $10 million is forgivable if the company creates 200 new jobs over the next five years. Pitney Bowes will also receive a sales and use tax exemption of up to $1 million for capital improvements; a $1 million job training grant; and up to $10 million in tax credits. Pitney Bowes has sold its headquarters building in south Stamford, and Walton says they’re currently in negotiations for a new location in the city.

Some state lawmakers have been critical of the governor’s “First Five” program for being ineffective at creating new jobs in the state. Most recipients have been companies that are already in Connecticut, and are threatening to move.

Craig produces sound-rich features and breaking news coverage for WGBH News in Boston. His features have run nationally on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition, as well as on PRI's The World and Marketplace. Craig has won a number of national and regional awards for his reporting, including two national Edward R. Murrow awards in 2015, the national Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi award feature reporting in 2011, first place awards in 2012 and 2009 from the national Public Radio News Directors Inc. and second place in 2007 from the national Society of Environmental Journalists. Craig is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Tufts University.