Governor Gina M. Raimondo and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Board of Directors tonight approved approximately $1.9 million in tax credits and incentives to support the expansion of A.T. Cross Co. in Rhode Island.
"Growing businesses, especially ones with a deep history in our state, is essential to Rhode Island's comeback," said Governor Gina Raimondo. "These tools encourage Rhode Island businesses to expand here in the Ocean State, creating more jobs and improving our economy. This deal with A.T. Cross shows that our programs are working and we have momentum."
"The positive outcome for A.T. Cross is exactly what I envisioned when the General Assembly included this program in our budget this year. I will continue to support programs that encourage economic growth and job creation," said Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello.
"A.T. Cross is an iconic Rhode Island brand, and today's action by the Commerce Corporation will help them move to Providence and add dozens of jobs to their workforce," said Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed. "The economic development tools put in place in this year's budget are working to retain and attract companies to our state and helping to create jobs for Rhode Islanders."
The 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 company, which currently employs 105 people, plans to move its operations to the Foundry Campus in Providence and add 35 jobs.
"We're proud that A.T. Cross, which has been located in Rhode Island for 170 years, has decided to expand right here in the Ocean State," said Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. "We're committed to helping Rhode Island companies, which are frequently offered enticing opportunities elsewhere in the country, to invest and grow right here in our state. We're especially pleased that A.T. Cross has proposed to expand its workforce by approximately one-third in this state."
"A.T. Cross has been a proud Rhode Island employer for 170 years. Staying in Rhode Island was important both to honor our heritage and to continue to build our future with our employees," said Robert P. Baird, CEO, A.T. Cross Company. "The incentives provided by the State of Rhode Island will allow us to invest in our business and more importantly, our talented employees, as well as hire more Rhode Islanders over time."
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.