PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Two companies planning to build plants in Bay County may no longer be coming here. Air Temp of America and Clark & Sons both planned to hire 50 workers. 

Bay County Commissioners repealed tax exemption ordinances during Tuesday morning’s commission meeting for Air Temp of America and Clark & Sons. Both businesses planned to pay at least 15% higher salaries than the county average.

Air Temp expected to build a manufacturing facility on 15th St.

“Air Temp of America is a tier one supplier to Volkswagen and Volvo and GM,” Bay EDA President Becca Hardin said. “And because the automotive business really took a downturn during COVID and really hasn’t rebounded yet, that severely impacted their business as well.”

Hardin said Air Temp demolished a building destroyed by Hurricane Michael and was renovating the property when the pandemic stalled work. Clark & Sons Auction and Liquidation planned to hire 50 workers for a facility at the Port of Panama City’s Intermodal Distribution Center off Highway 231.

But their plans changed after they closed a plant in Mexico.

“Clark & Son had actually gotten up to about 15 employees,” Hardin said. “They were in operation and due to the plant closed down in Mexico, there was no need to have that operation.”

Hardin said the 100 jobs lost will be marginal for the county’s growth. She said the Bay Economic Development Alliance is still working with Air Temp of America to find new locations.

“Air temp is looking for additional property to build a smaller facility, and they still plan to operate in Bay County, but they’ve paused the project,” Hardin said.

The Bay EDA announced it landed five new companies this year, creating 800 new jobs.