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Gator Cases moves distribution center to Whitley Co.

October 8th, 2013

News Coverage:

Gator Cases moves distribution center to Whitley Co.

Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 10:09 am | Updated: 11:07 am, Tue Oct 8, 2013.

A Tampa, Fla.-based maker of cases and bags for the music, professional audio and audio-visual markets will relocate its distribution center from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Whitley County, creating as many as 106 jobs by 2016.

According to an announcement from the Indiana Economic Development Corp., Gator Cases Inc. will invest $4.46 million to lease, renovate and equip a 168,000-square-foot facility at 2499 S. County Road 600 East, east of Columbia City. The facility also will contain the companys rotational molding factory.

The IEDC said Gator Cases expects to begin hiring manufacturing, operations and distribution positions in December.

The company was founded in 2000 by Jerry Freed and his daughter, Crystal Morris. Gator Cases makes more than 1,000 hard cases and bags that are sold by more than 3,000 dealers in more than 90 countries. Its cases are used for: music instruments; professional audio equipment; information-technology equipment; audio-visual equipment; and general utility equipment.

Gator Cases presently employs 28 full-time workers in Indiana and 64 across the country.

"We are very excited to continue our expansion in Indiana," Morris, president of Gator Cases, said in the IEDC announcement. "The business-friendly climate, central location and excellent work force were the leading factors in our decision to choose the Columbia City location. We are looking forward to continuing our growth of U.S.A. manufacturing along with streamlining our distribution to ensure best-in-class performance for our customers."

The IEDC offered Gator Cases up to $550,000 in conditional tax credits based on the number of jobs the company expects to create. Whitley County officials approved a tax abatement for the project.

"We understand that Gator Cases considered a number of options for what represents an impressive milestone in the company's development," Whitley County Commissioner George Schrumpf said in the announcement. "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."

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