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Southern Champion Tray, LP

Project Highlights


Type: Manufacturing

Location: Chattanooga, TN


Southern Community Capital: $8,000,000

Other Community Development Entities: $39,500,000


Construction Jobs: 53

Jobs Created and Retained: 156

Southern Champion Tray, LP (“SC Tray”), founded in 1927, is one of the largest, US family-owned sustainable paperboard packaging products manufacturers serving the grocery, bakery and restaurant industries. The company operates five locations with over 1,100,000 square feet in facility space, including a new facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


Chattanooga has experienced a poverty rate of 30.9% (based on the American Community Survey). A local strategic plan, Chattanooga Climbs, established a goal of Mobility for All to address poverty. The plan calls for community actions that strive to create high-quality jobs accessible to all residents and widely available employer-driven solutions to alleviate barriers to employment. SC Tray has been instrumental in this effort.


New Market Tax Credit proceeds funded the construction and equipping of a 300,000 square foot paperboard converting facility located in Chattanooga. SC Tray’s decision to expand capacity is driven by increased demand from restaurants and consumers who seek more eco-friendly alternatives to plastic and foam-based packaging and to-go containers.


At the county and state level, SC Tray received dedicated support for its expansion. The company received a $1.2 million Fast Start grant from the Tennessee Department of Economic Development to support construction and a 5-year PILOT tax abatement agreement from Hamilton County. The incentives are a clear commitment to uplift the severely distressed community and encourage high quality, accessible employment for its residents.


Project Impact

  • Created 156 jobs with comprehensive benefits and access to on-the-job training, tuition reimbursement related to company needs, and mentorship programs to help develop leadership and professional skills of employees (89% accessible to individuals with a high school diploma or less).
  • SC Tray collaborates with community workforce agencies, non-profits and ministries to source talent.
  • SC Tray expects the new facility to spend $11-12 million annually for supply chain purchases of which 23% will come from the local economy.