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Musical instrument maker to grow in Whitley

Statement as distributed Wednesday by the Indiana Economic Development Corp.:

SOUTH WHITLEY, Ind. (May 7, 2014) – Fox Products, a manufacturer of double reed woodwind instruments, announced plans today to expand its operations here, creating up to 30 new jobs by 2017.

“From the honk of a car horn to the low tones of a Fox Products bassoon, Hoosier companies are singing Indiana’s tune as the best place to build the world’s products,” said Eric Doden, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “From its top tax climate to its consistently balanced budgets, Indiana’s business climate is in perfect harmony with what companies need to grow. And with Hoosiers’ innovative design and careful craftsmanship, Indiana companies like Fox Products are reaching a crescendo here in a state that works.”

The homegrown-Hoosier company will invest $2.3 million to renovate and equip its 29,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in South Whitley. The new equipment, most which will be installed by December, will allow the company to better serve a growing domestic and international customer base with its line of bassoons, contra bassoons, oboes and English horns. Fox Products, which currently employs approximately 120 full-time Indiana associates, plans to begin hiring in October.

“Fox Products is very fortunate to be located in South Whitley, where there is a great rural work ethic and an extremely supportive state and local government,” said Tony Starkey, president of Fox Products. “Local and state economic development leaders are constantly engaged and work well with businesses to position them for success.”

Founded in 1949, Fox Products manufactures double reed woodwind instruments for musicians around the world. Selling more than 2,300 instruments annually, the company distributes its product through an extensive dealer network. With the expansion, Fox has a goal of increasing production to more than 3,100 instruments annually by 2017.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Fox Products up to $140,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $40,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. Whitley County approved additional incentives at the request of the Whitley County EDC.

“The Whitley County Commissioners and Council are pleased to support the expansion of long-time employer Fox Products in our community,” said George Schrumpf, chairman of the Whitley County Commissioners. “This announcement demonstrates once again how Whitley County companies perform at a high level on a world stage.”

Fox Products’ growth comes on the heels of custom plastic injection molder Precision Plastics’ announcement just last month that it plans to expand its Whitley County operations. The plastic injection molder plans to invest $265,000 to construct a 12,000 square-foot warehouse adjacent to its current 75,000 square-foot plastics facility, creating 15 new jobs by 2017.

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