PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo today joined state and local officials at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the relocation and expansion of A.T. Cross. The famed pen manufacturer will expand operations, add jobs, and open a new storefront in the new Providence location, which would not have been possible without incentives from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation.
"Growing businesses, especially ones with such deep and storied history in our state, is essential to Rhode Island's comeback," said Governor Gina Raimondo. "Our tools are working - we're ending the year on a roll, and we're not going to take our foot off the gas. We're going to keep working just as hard in 2017 to keep up this work, support our local businesses, and give Rhode Islanders the economic opportunities they need and deserve."
A.T. Cross, located in Rhode Island since its founding in 1846, currently employs 105 people and plans to add 35 jobs. The move comes after Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation approved approximately $1.9 million in tax credits and incentives to support the expansion of A.T. Cross Co. in Rhode Island earlier this year.
"After a week of exciting announcements about development and investment in Providence, we are starting to feel the narrative change about doing business in our capital city," said Mayor Jorge Elorza. "I am so proud that a manufacturing company that started here in Providence 170 years ago, is continuing to see growth and expansion here in the heart of our city."
Governor Raimondo commemorated today's ribbon cutting by signing a citation recognizing A.T. Cross's longstanding commitment to Rhode Island with a pen produced by A.T. Cross.
This event follows a week of major economic development announcements that will support more than 2,500 jobs. In 2016, Johnson & Johnson, Virgin Pulse, Wexford, Cambridge Innovation Center and GE Digital and many other companies big and small have chosen Rhode Island. These companies will put thousands of Rhode Islanders to work doing a wide range of jobs at every level.
"A.T. Cross has been a proud Rhode Island employer for 170 years, providing people all over the world with one of the most memorable gifts you can give," said A.T. Cross CEO Robert P. Baird Jr. "We are thrilled to have moved back to Providence and to be building our future there, with new headquarters and a new Cross Store."
"A.T. Cross is a Rhode Island institution," said Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. "We're proud that this company has chosen to remain and expand right here in Rhode Island. We are committed to helping Rhode Island businesses invest and grow in their home state."
Following approval by the General Assembly in the 2015 legislative session, the Commerce Corporation under the direction of Governor Gina Raimondo launched 11 new economic development programs and tools to help create jobs and move the state's economy forward.
In May of 2016, the Rhode Island commerce corporation Board approved $1.2 million in Qualified Jobs Tax Incentive credits, $400,000 in Rebuild Rhode Island real estate credits, up to $67,000 in sales tax incentives and $200,000 in First Wave Closing Fund grants, the first award of this program, for A.T. Cross Co.
The Qualified Jobs Incentive program encourages new job creation by providing a base tax credit (1) for companies relocating to the state and creating a minimum number of new jobs and (2) for current Rhode Island companies growing their in-state workforce. The annual base tax credit is $2,500 for each new full-time job created, with possible add-ons of up to $5,000 per job if specific criteria are met.
The First Wave Closing Fund provides linchpin financing unavailable from other sources to close transactions of a critical or catalytic nature. The money can be used for a variety of purposes, including working capital, equipment purchases, furnishings, construction and permanent financing.