A small mutual insurance company founded in Salem County, NJ, is moving across the river to Wilmington.
Farmers of Salemis relocating from Salem, NJ to Wilmington in 2021, bringing 52 jobs to the city’s Central Business District. An additional five jobs will be added by the company, according to a release from the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.
Farmers of Salem plans to invest close to $5.6 million in the purchase and renovation of an existing office building in Wilmington. The company already has identified and is in negotiations for a property and has been approved for $399,252 in relocation support grants from the Delaware Strategic Fund.
“Farmers of Salem’s investment shows Delaware’s strength as a premier location for the financial services industry,” said Gov. John Carney. “This investment will support good-paying jobs for Delawareans and their families, and the continued growth of our state’s economy. Businesses looking to grow and thrive choose Delaware because we have a lot to offer – from a strong and talented workforce, to a central location and excellent quality of life.”
Farmers of Salem holds a rating of A- EXCELLENT from A.M. Best Co., an independent service that rates overall financial condition and operating performance of firms within the insurance industry.According to James R. Doherty, president and chief operating officer, the company was attracted to Delaware because of the state’s labor market and favorable cost of doing business.
“Farmers of Salem has evolved from its origins as Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Salem County across three centuries,” said Doherty. “Our move to Wilmington will add a 21st-century sensibility to our nearly 17 decades of service to our policyholders and our ongoing commitment to remaining innovative, competitive and stable within the insurance marketplace.”
Working with the Delaware Prosperity Partnership team, Doherty and William A. Dine, senior vice president, corporate operations, presented Farmers’ relocation plan to the Council on Development Finance (CDF) on Jan. 27. The CDF approved Farmers for a $287,252 Performance Grant and a $112,000 Capital Expenditure Grant, both from the Delaware Strategic Fund.
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki joined the governor in praising the relocation.
“It is my pleasure to welcome Farmers of Salem to their new home in Wilmington,” Purzycki said. “We look forward to a long and productive relationship as the company settles into a welcoming city that appreciates its corporate neighbors. Wilmington’s regional location, access to a varied transportation system and a workforce that can help grow a business are just some of the reasons why businesses choose Wilmington. In addition, our city has other outstanding amenities, including a rich arts and cultural community, some of the finest music, stage and entertainment venues in the region and an ever-expanding array of great places to enjoy excellent food, drink and great company.You are going to like it here, Farmers, and we are thrilled that you are now part of Wilmington’s bright future.”
Farmers of Salem marks a key victory in efforts to bring jobs to downtown Wilmington. The city has seen a steady stream of small and mid-sized service employersin accounting and other areas leaving the city, due to factors ranging from the wage tax to clients preferring visits to a suburban office. The exodus has even led a few law firms to move to suburban space.