Bad Boy Mowers to add 300 jobs

FILE — Sidney Cooper, left, and Waylon Moser, right, work to hang a promotional banner for Bad Boy Mowers in Little Rock in the 2017 file photo. The mower manufacturer announced an expansion of its Batesville campus on Wednesday. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/John Sykes Jr.)

Bad Boy Mowers announced plans Wednesday to continue a series of expansions and will be adding 300 jobs in Batesville. The manufacturer has expanded at least three times since 2015.

The company plans to build a new paint plant and shipping facility that will add 300 new jobs over five years, adding to the workforce of more than 800 today. Bad Boy says it will move corporate headquarters and a truck shop to existing facilities and will be expanding its transportation fleet.

"Bad Boy is committed to growing our Batesville roots deeper than ever, while furthering our reputation of quality, value and performance across the USA," Chief Executive Officer Peter Ballantyne said in announcing the initiative. "Through new jobs and state-of-the-art facilities, we are showing our industry -- and the rest of the country -- what Arkansas can do."

State economic development leaders applauded the company's continued growth in the region, where it is one of the largest manufacturers in north Arkansas.

"When Arkansans found great businesses, find success, and expand their companies, the entire state thrives," Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. "Bad Boy Mowers is an outstanding example of those compounding benefits, as shown by today's commitment to create 300 new jobs in Batesville."

The company showcases the entrepreneurial spirit in the state, according to Clint O'Neal, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

"In Arkansas, entrepreneurs can dream up a business and know they have the opportunity to run a successful company," he said. "Bad Boy Mowers has created a thriving business that has created hundreds of jobs for Arkansans as well as top-of-the-line lawn equipment for Americans."

Bad Boy, which was purchased by the Sterling Group LP of Houston in 2019, is responding to increased demand for zero-turn mowers, sub-compact tractors, outdoor landscaping tools, parts and accessories.

The company provides products to retailers and more than 1,100 independent dealers nationwide. It has operations at 102 Industrial Drive in Batesville. It was founded in 2000 and began manufacturing operations in 2002.

Arkansas officials said Bad Boy will receive a $1.2 million Community Development Block Grant and other incentives that reward it for job creation and equipment purchases.

"The expansion of Bad Boy Mowers' paint line reflects our community's dedication to growth, cooperation, and enduring prosperity," said Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh. "It not only brings employment opportunities but also underscores our unwavering drive for advancement in Batesville."