Thursday, January 29, 2004

Forest Park firm to expand

Distributor came in with tax deal

By Liz Oakes
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FOREST PARK - A tax break designed to attract companies here is starting to pay off for the city. A pharmaceutical distributor that moved in last year says business is so good, it can't hire people fast enough.

DBS Trading Inc. moved to Kemper Meadow Business Center after Forest Park approved an enterprise zone agreement with the company in December 2002. It plans to double its workforce and invest $170,000 in equipment within two years.

Forest Park City Council last week approved amending the agreement with DBS to reflect the new plans; the change won't greatly affect the city's revenue, Paul Brehm, Forest Park economic development director, said.

But "it's a sign they're going in the right direction," Brehm said. "They're very optimistic about their job numbers."

Under the nine-year agreement, DBS receives a 75percent tax exemption on personal property - equipment, furniture and fixtures - and improvements to the land, Brehm said.

A little over a year ago, the company told the city it would create 40 jobs over three years, and spend $82,500 on new machinery and other equipment.

DBS also planned to spend$40,000 on renovations and improvements to the 28,000-square-foot building, and land, at 11930 Kemper Springs Drive it bought for $1.25 million from Besse Pharmaceutical.

DBS moved seven jobs from West Chester Township last February. It's now up to 37 jobs and counting, said Denny Smith, founder and owner of DBS.

The company hopes to hire 30 or more employees by the end of the year. Smith said he'd hire more if he had more office space.

"Our goal is to hire as many account managers as we can fit in," the West Chester resident said.

In the last year, DBS has bought a new software system, power conveyor and other equipment.

"We're doing so much at one time, we're just not enough people," Smith said.

The company began operations in June 2002, said Smith, who previously worked at Superior Pharmaceutical, down another street in the same office park.

Since DBS's first year with four employees, sales revenue has gone up about 800 percent, he said.

He attributes the quick expansion partly to "tremendous growth" in the pharmaceutical industry as more drugs become generic. Generic drugs comprise 90 percent of DBS' business, he said.

As more cancer drugs go off patent in the next few years, he estimates $15 million in generic sales will be generated.


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