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Archery business aims at Ashley site

The bow and arrow is exploding for a Waterloo company.

Technology Solutions Inc. is a medical software and archery equipment business, but it is the latter part of the operation that’s behind plans to invest nearly $2 million on a building, renovations and equipment as the company intends to move to Ashley.

Officials announced Tuesday that the Indiana Economic Development Corp. is offering Technology Solutions up to $125,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $75,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans.

The tax credits are performance-based, so the company isn’t eligible to receive the incentives until Hoosiers are hired. The town of Ashley also approved a five-year abatement on equipment that will save Technology Solutions $450,000.

When it moves from Waterloo, company leaders expect operations to begin in Ashley by the summer. Technology Solutions will occupy a 20,280-square-foot building and within two years expects to hire 26 people, at wages averaging $17 an hour. The business, which has 16 employees, intends to hire social marketers, graphic designers, animators, programmers, sales representatives and warehouse personnel in the coming months.

Its thriving segment is Archery Tag, which features equipment for a dodgeball-type activity played with foam-tipped arrows, said John Jackson, founder and CEO of Technology Solutions.

“A name change will probably be coming,” he said.

His popular archery equipment franchise began just a few years ago but already is in 21 countries.

“It’s a little scary how fast it’s taken off,” Jackson said.

So much that when the company leaves its 2,000-square-foot building in Waterloo, its new address on Shea Drive in Ashley will be renamed to pay homage to the Archery Tag brand.

“That really is where the growth is taking place,” Jackson said, adding that the Ashley location will include a play space for people to participate in archery tag.

Revenue at the company is approaching $1 million, and Jackson expects it will double this year.

Randy McEntarfer, Ashley’s town planner and vice president, said the community is pleased that Technology Solutions chose to come there.

“It helps diversify our economy away from warehousing, and these are higher-wage jobs,” he said.

Technology Solutions is taking over a spot occupied by Old Smokey’s Chimney Cleaning & Repair, which will move into a building five blocks west of its current location.

Indiana Economic Development Corp. officials were understandably excited.

“Innovative companies like Technology Solutions find their niche in Indiana, free from the restrictive environment they may find in other states,” said Eric Doden, president of the organization. “We’ve worked for years to build Indiana into a state that works, where regulations and business costs are (minimal), giving companies the freedom to grow here and focus on what they do best.”

Job applicants may apply through WorkOne Northeast in Auburn or at IndianaCareerConnect.com.

pwyche@jg.net

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