PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is propelling the company to record revenue. In 2021, the manufacturer raked in $81.3 billion.
The company’s largest manufacturing site is in Portage, and it’s the city’s largest employer. As Pfizer rakes in billions, Mayor Patricia Randall said it’s good news for Portage.
“Anytime we have a business that succeeds in our community, we succeed,” Randall said. “So what’s good for Portage is good for Pfizer and vice versa.”
Randall added that Pfizer has brought in high-paying jobs, attracted new businesses and put Portage “on the map globally.”
“Every new job that they have, the hiring in our economy or the region is 1.5,” Randall said. “So it’s a win-win, not only for Portage, but the entire region.”
In 2021, Pfizer doubled its revenue from the year before. The company is expecting to set another record this year, with around $100 billion in revenue.
Republican Rep. Fred Upton, from St. Joseph, called the gains “really good news” for Kalamazoo County. He praised Pfizer’s commitment to the area as “the best.”
“We want our companies to succeed,” Upton said. “We want them to be able to attract good people as well. We don’t want them to go someplace else, because that has a trickle effect for all these other jobs and economic activity.”
State Sen. Sean McCann, D-Kalamazoo, called Pfizer’s site “critical” to the area.
“I think their success translates into a successful community,” McCann said. “To see them committed to the community, adding jobs, adding facilities, having been central to the vaccine distribution, hopefully that bodes well.”
Still — with these huge profits — the manufacturer is facing accusations of profiteering off the pandemic. After Pfizer released its earnings this week, nonprofit group Oxfam blasted the company, accusing it of using its “monopoly to enrich its shareholders at the expense of almost half the world’s population who still have no access to lifesaving vaccines.”
McCann said it’s natural for the company to see higher profits following the vaccination effort.
“This is a critical thing that our whole country needed and they delivered on,” McCann said. “Companies make profits in the process of doing that. Again, we see the economic results of that coming back into our communities.”
One expansion for Pfizer in Portage, a 420,000 square foot processing plant, is expected to bring 450 new jobs. That project is costing Pfizer $450 million.
Randall told News 8 the goal is for construction to wrap up by the end of the year or early next year.