PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo today joined state and local officials at a ground-breaking ceremony to celebrate the opening of Ivory Ella's new headquarters in Westerly. The socially-minded online retailer has relocated to R.I. from Connecticut with assistance from the Governor's economic development toolbox.
News of the retailer's arrival today is the latest in a series of positive economic developments advanced by Governor Raimondo and her administration in 2016. This month alone, the Commerce Corporation has announced successful efforts to bring more than 240 jobs to Rhode Island. In all, since launching the Rebuild RI and Qualified Jobs economic incentives in January, the Commerce Corporation has leveraged nearly $400 million in investments and finalized deals that will bring more than 490 jobs to Rhode Island.
"Today's 'shirt-cutting' is another signal that companies are taking a fresh look at our state. I am so happy to officially welcome Ivory Ella to Rhode Island," Raimondo said. "We have worked hard to make Rhode Island a better state for businesses of all sizes."
"We continue to be impressed by the warmth of our welcome to Rhode Island, and I'm confident that this move is the right one for us," Ivory Ella Co-Founder Ryan Duranso said. "We are absolutely thrilled to get up and running, as well as contribute to the success of the state."
Ivory Ella is relocating all 40 of its current jobs, 19 of which qualify under Rhode Island's Qualified Jobs Incentive Tax Credit program. Additionally, the company has committed to expanding by at least 20 new jobs over the next three years, 11 of which will qualify under the Qualified Jobs program. In May, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Board of Directors approved approximately $362,055 in tax credits under the Qualified Jobs Incentive Tax Credit Program for Ivory Ella. Under this program, companies expanding their workforce in Rhode Island or relocating jobs from out of state can receive annual redeemable tax credits for up to 10 years. Credits can equal up to $7,500 per job per year, depending on the wage level and other criteria.
The retailer specializes in natural and sustainable clothing and donates 10 percent of its net profits to Save the Elephants.
"We're proud that Ivory Ella has become a Rhode Island company because they are simultaneously strengthening our state's economy and making the world a better place,"Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said. "This is one of nine companies to take advantage of this economic incentive tool, with more to come."
"Today's announcement is another positive step in Rhode Island's economic comeback," Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) said. "We continue to work together, with strong leadership in the Governor's office and at the Commerce Corporation, to put Rhode Islanders back to work."
"Ivory Ella is a world-class business that brings a huge heart and significant job growth to our community," Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Konicki said. "It's been exciting to work with them throughout this relocation process and to bring them into the Real Jobs Rhode Island workforce development program. There is a palpable excitement in the air about their presence in Westerly, and we're delighted with the tremendous reception they have received from their new neighbors, officials and the community at large."
Following the approval of 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.