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Good morning. It could be a busy week for the state legislature as it decides how to proceed with its new authority to terminate or amend the Covid-19 emergency declaration that Gov. Tom Wolf signed last Thursday. Under two amendments to the state constitution approved by voters, the order will expire in 21 days unless lawmakers decide otherwise. Mark your calendars.
 
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Dauphin manufacturer to invest $27M in plant expansion



A maker of windows and doors is planning to add 97 jobs and 90,000-square-feet of space in a roughly $27 million expansion project at its headquarters facility in Gratz Borough.
  • Founded in 1947, MI Windows and Doors is one of the country's largest suppliers of vinyl and aluminum windows and doors.
  • The company employs about 1,528 people at more than 10 factories around the U.S. and carries three brands: MI Windows and Doors, Milgard Windows & Doors and Sunrise Windows & Doors. 

Why is this happening: Windows and doors are in demand as home construction and renovation booms.
  • Nearly half, or 49%, of window and door manufacturers expect to expand this year, according to trade publication Window+Door
  • More than three-fifths, or 61%, expect a moderate sales increase this year, with 81% planning to add workers.
  • The main challenges for companies have been finding workers and managing rising costs for materials.
  • Vinyl, for example, has gotten more expensive since February storms in Texas that idled resin plants, according to Business Insider.

How is this happening: MI is getting state grants of more than $750,000 to aid its expansion project, according to a press release from Gov. Tom Wolf.
  • The state also is encouraging the company to apply for a low-interest $2.4 million loan from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority, an arm of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
  • In the press release, the state noted that MI recently bumped up its starting rate for new workers to $20 per hour.
  • "This project will add great-paying jobs and increase our production capabilities, making it a win-win for our team, our community, and our customers," MI president Matt DeSoto said in a statement.
  
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Quick takes



WHO'S MAKING A DEAL: Duck Donuts. The Cumberland County-based donut franchise inked an agreement with a company that plans to open 25 Duck Donut franchise locations in Egypt over the next five years. The deal is the first since private equity firm NewSpring Capital took a majority stake in Duck Donuts. The new Egyptian franchisee is a company called Master Foods, a food manufacturer that also operates retail and convenience stores in the North African country.
  • Master Foods plans to open its first location later this year in Cairo Festival City, a mixed-use community on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt's largest city.
  • Egypt will be the second country in the Middle East with a Duck Donuts location. The chain's first overseas franchise opened in Dubai.
  • Duck Donuts has 105 locations in 22 states and Dubai but has contracts to open more than 100 additional stores, including locations overseas.
 


WHO'S PERMANENT: James Turoff, the top lawyer for The Hershey Co. The Dauphin County-based candy maker has named Turoff its general counsel. Turoff, who also is Hershey's secretary and a senior vice president, had been acting general counsel since December. He replaced Damien Atkins, who stepped down at the end of January due to a family illness. Atkins had joined Hershey in 2018.
  • Turoff has worked for Hershey since 2014 and worked previously as assistant general counsel for Harsco, a manufacturing and environmental services company based in Wormleysburg.
  • Turoff, who lives in Mechanicsburg, began his career at the law firm Jones Day, according to a press release.

The background: Turoff's responsibilities cover legal matters, compliance, ethics, government relations and corporate security.
  • The role of general counsel is an increasingly busy one as companies navigate complex legal and ethical terrain in areas such as diversity and sustainability.
 


WHAT'S CLOSING: The window for restaurants to apply for aid from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Applications for a piece of the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund are due by 8 p.m. today, according to the agency. More than 303,000 eateries already have applied, totaling $69 billion in funding.
  • As of last week, roughly 38,000 applications had been approved for funding of more than $6 billion overall.
  • The program has not been without controversy.
  • A Tennessee restaurant, backed by a conservative legal institute from Wisconsin, sued in federal court over the SBA's stated priority of awarding funds to women- and minority-owned businesses, according to law360.com. But the suit was tossed last week by a federal judge in Tennessee.


 
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Compiled and written by Joel Berg

 
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