Schutt Sports is seeking assistance from the city of Litchfield, IL, in building a new $5 million facility. The company said it is being courted by other states to  relocate its headquarters.  The company was founded in Litchfield in 1918.
The move comes as Schutt Sports decided last fall to consolidate all of their facilities into one building in order to stay competitive in their field. The company has three facilities in Litchfield and one in Salem.

According to The Journal-News of Hillsboro, IL, Schutt is distributing flyers asking for support for a  half-percent sales tax increase to help keep the company and 300 permanent jobs in Litchfield.

“We are asking for your support. We are not asking for a handout. Everyone will benefit,” said the flyer.

“Schutt was born here,” said Mark Watts, Regional Director of Sales, told the newspaper. “That's our number one priority and our number one loyalty is to stay here. At the end of the day, offers from other states will likely be more from an incentives perspective. But this is our number one option.”

According to the article, Schutt explored several options the city before determining that  a half-percent sales tax increase would allow them additional funds for projects such as water lines, sewers, street repairs and sidewalks. Money that is currently used in the general fund for those projects will be freed up, and can be used for economic and business development.

Contracts have not been finalized or details released about the proposal between the two entities, but much hinges on the April 7 vote on the sales tax increase.

“From an overall city standpoint, it would mean a lot for the citizens to vote in support of this,” Watts said. “This is where our roots are. The city sees that we need to come together as a community to help growth. This referendum will help the whole city of Litchfield, not just Schutt Sports. And hopefully more companies will follow suit in coming to Litchfield.”

If the April 7 referendum passes, Litchfield will still have one of the lowest sales tax rates in the area at 7.25%, according to Citizens for Growth, a group promoting the tax.