A Tampa-based company that makes cases, bags and stands for the music and audiovisual markets is relocating its Chattanooga distribution center to northern Indiana, creating up to 106 new jobs by 2016. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation says Gator Cases will invest over four-point-four-million dollars to lease, renovate and equip a 168-thousand square-foot facility in Columbia City that's expected to be complete by this January and house its rotational molding factory.
"Gator Cases' decision to grow in Indiana is the latest proof of the confidence that growing companies have in our prosperous business climate," said Governor Mike Pence. "Thanks to Indiana's robust infrastructure, low-tax economy and quick and predictable regulatory environment, we are continually winning opportunities to bring more jobs to hardworking Hoosiers."
"We are very excited to continue our expansion in Indiana," said Crystal Morris, president of Gator Cases. "The business friendly climate, central location and excellent workforce were the leading factors in our decision to choose the Columbia City location. We are looking forward to continuing our growth of USA manufacturing along with streamlining our distribution to insure best in class performance for our customers."
Founded in 2000 in Tampa, Fla. by father-daughter team Jerry Freed and Crystal Morris, Gator Cases manufactures hard case and bag solutions for pro audio, information technology, audio visual, general utility, band instrument and percussion instruments. Offering more than 1,000 different solutions made from vacuum-formed plastics, rotational-molded plastics, wood, sewn and ethylene-vinyl acetate materials, the company sells through more than 3,000 dealers with products offered in more than 90 countries. The company also specializes in creating OEM custom case solution for manufacturers around the world.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Gator Cases, Inc. up to $550,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. Whitley County approved additional tax abatement at the request of Whitley County Economic Development Corporation.
"We understand that Gator Cases considered a number of options for what represents an impressive milestone in the company's development," said Whitley County Commissioner George Schrumpf. "With that in mind, we commend the owners' decision to grow the business in Northeast Indiana and we are pleased to welcome Gator Cases to Whitley County."