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March 14, 2013

New Albany jewelry producer to add 80 jobs

Ronaldo Designer could receive state tax credits for job creation

NEW ALBANY — Ronaldo Designer Jewelry Inc. could receive up to $200,000 in tax credits and $50,000 in training grants from the state to aid the company in its investment in downtown New Albany.

In January, Ronaldo Designer Jewelry opened a 4,400-square-foot production facility at 501 Pearl St., as the company invested $519,000 to purchase and equip the space. About 90 percent of the company’s jewelry production is now housed in New Albany.

Ronald Designer Jewelry has pledged to add 80 jobs by the end of the year, and the company has been offered a conditional incentive package by the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Gov. Mike Pence announced the deal among his stops in New Albany on Thursday.

“Ronaldo Designer’s expansion and commitment to our state reinforces Southeast Indiana’s economic strengths,” Pence said. “Our solid fiscal house, unmatched infrastructure and quality work force make Indiana stand out as a state that works for business.”

The company employs 30 people at its New Albany and Laconia locations. The business was founded in 1992 in Louisville as Gold Craft by Ronnie “Ronaldo” Needham, and he launched Ronaldo Designer in 2009. The business specializes in designing, crafting and distributing fine jewelry to stores and boutiques.

“Due to the popularity of our products, we needed a facility to expand our production capacity and continued growth,” Needham said of opening in New Albany.

“Indiana is a natural fit for our family-owned company and we are proud to call Indiana our home.”

At the request of One Southern Indiana — an economic development agency for Floyd and Clark counties — New Albany also will consider additional tax credits for Ronaldo Designer Jewelry.

Mayor Jeff Gahan said he’s encouraged that the company chose to locate in New Albany.

“They are a nice complement to the organic growth and rebirth we’ve been encouraging in our downtown area,” Gahan said. “The city of New Albany is excited by these new jobs and investment and look forward to the company’s success for many years.”

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ON THE WEB

• Ronaldo Designer Jewelry Inc. — designerjewelrybyronaldo.com

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