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Four tech firms line up for new state tax breaks

Four fast-growing technology companies will take advantage of a new state incentive program and share $650,000 in tax breaks for the promise of collectively adding 650 jobs by the end of next year.

The program, enacted by the Legislature over the summer as part of a broader economic development package, awards $1,000 in state tax credits for every promised job. Previously, employers needed to show big capital investments, such as new construction or renovations, to get the tax incentives. But the Legislature expanded the definition to allow tax credits to be awarded solely in return for new jobs, largely to help software and other high-tech companies that don’t have massive plants or machinery.


The state Economic Assistance Coordinating Council on Wednesday awarded the tax breaks to Wayfair LLC, Fiksu Inc.,Demandware Inc., and SimpliVity Corp.

State officials can recoup the revenue if the companies fail to meet the goals.

Wayfair, an online retailer that recently raised more than $300 million in an initial public stock offering, pledged to add 264 jobs to its local workforce of nearly 1,300 people, primarily in Boston.

Digital-commerce software firm Demandware plans to add 146 jobs within the next year to its 280-person team in Burlington. Mobile-marketing tech firm Fiksu pledged to add 120 jobs to the 190 existing jobs at its Boston office. And cloud-computing firm SimpliVity plans to add 120 jobs in Westborough and is seeking a location nearby to accommodate its growth.

The tech firms were among 18 companies getting state tax breaks totaling $6.2 million and local property tax breaks totaling $20 million, following approval by the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council.

The agency also allowed Great Wolf Resorts, a Wisconsin-based water park operator, to keep $17.2 million in tax breaks that were awarded in March. The New England Regional Council of Carpenters asked the state agency to rescind the incentives, which largely consist of $16.5 million in property tax breaks on new construction, for Great Wolf’s nearly $70 million project in Fitchburg.


The carpenters union opposed the assistance because Great Wolf subcontractors had earlier been found to be operating without workers’ compensation insurance.

The union also took issue with Great Wolf’s use of out-of-state subcontractors.

But Economic Assistance Coordinating Council members said Great Wolf quickly resolved the workers’ comp issues and the company has since met job-creation goals required for the tax breaks.

When the breaks were approved, the council said Great Wolf would add 200 jobs. Great Wolf says it employs 270 full-time people at the site now and a similar number of part-timers during the peak season.

The council also approved tax breaks for 14 companies by using preexisting tax incentive programs. They included:

■  LogMeIn, a data-security and business-collaboration firm, wants to invest $38 million in a burned-out building across from its current headquarters on Summer Street in South Boston. The company pledges to create 450 jobs as part of the expansion, on top of its roughly 350 employees there. State award: $1.1 million; local award: $2.5 million.

■  GE Healthcare plans to invest $21 million to expand in Marlborough, transferring 110 Massachusetts employees to the site and creating 220 jobs there. Local award: $107,000.

■  Potpourri Group, a Billerica catalog company, plans to invest $14 million to build a 450,000-square-foot warehouse in Littleton, creating 130 jobs on top of its nearly 230 local workers. State award: $325,000; local award: $3.3 million.


■  Southwick, a high-end suit maker that employs nearly 470 in Haverhill, will add 70 jobs as it expands into a 148,000-square-foot vacant facility across the street in an $18 million project. State award: $2.1 million; local award: $4.4 million.

Jon Chesto can be reached at jon.chesto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.