Pawtucket doesn't want to take any chances with Hasbro, says incentives should be on table

Pawtucket doesn't want to take any chances with Hasbro, says incentives should be on table. (WJAR)

While Hasbro has not said it plans to leave Pawtucket, speculation that it could move prompted newly re-elected Mayor Donald Grebien to hold a news conference Wednesday where he urged state leaders to do all they can to keep the toy company’s headquarters in Pawtucket.

“A lot of it maybe it’s not fair because a lot of it is on rumor but after what we went through with the PawSox, I want to make sure that we’re ahead of this – if there is that truth,” said Grebien.

Hasbro acknowledged in a statement this week that it’s evaluating several options for contemporizing its corporate headquarters, including finding a new campus near the company’s current headquarters. Last month, the company said it had plans to lay off “a single digit percentage” of its global workforce.

Grebien said he wants to make sure the city holds on to the more than 600 jobs that Hasbro has in Pawtucket. Statewide, Grebien said the company employs about 1,100 people.

“This is not about scare tactics,” said Grebien. “It’s not about over-reacting. It’s really saying – hey, we’re here. Right? Let’s have those conversations if you are thinking, right? We don’t wanna be trying to play catch up after. We want to be ahead of that curve."

Grebien said tax incentives should be on the table when city and state leaders talk with Hasbro. A meeting between the toy company as well as Pawtucket and state leaders has not yet been scheduled.

In 2017, Hasbro reported more than $5 billion in revenue. NBC 10 asked several people in Pawtucket what help, if any, the city and state should offer the toy company.

"Not really. No, but taxpayers are on the hook for everything anyways when you think about it,” said Elena Araujo, who lives in Pawtucket.

Bill Lee, who lives in Pawtucket said, “As a taxpayer, I’m willing to keep any company or any business in the city of Pawtucket and I think the mayor ought to do everything he can, possibly can, to do that.”

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