OSWEGO – An international jewelry business is set to open on Oswego’s west side early next year.
LeRoi (fine body jewelry) announced Thursday afternoon that it plans to relocate from its current Fulton facility into a much larger site at 212 W. Second St., Oswego.
It will bring 40 employees with it and is likely to add 10 more with another 10 possible by 2020.
The relocation was incentivized by the city of Oswego offering a $130,000 grant from program income through the NYS Community Development Block Grant program administered and managed by the city’s Office of Economic Development.
Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow cited the Community Development Office for its hard work, as well as Century 21 Galloway and Pathfinder Bank that partnered with the city on the project.
When he was campaigning, the mayor said he heard the same three concerns all across the community – high taxes, too many potholes and a lack of job opportunities.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever claim victory on the pothole situation. But, we’re gaining on it,” the mayor quipped.
His administration has dropped taxes by 2.4 percent and is streamlining city government, he said. And, they are focusing on job creation (and retention), he added, pointing out recent funding for a barber shop and the YMCA’s fight club.
“I am very excited to welcome LeRoi, Inc., to the Oswego community as they move their operations and existing personnel into the city of Oswego. Bringing more jobs to the city of Oswego is very important to stimulating the local economy and providing employment opportunities to city residents,” Barlow told the large crowd inside the spacious facility where dozens of chairs were set up where jewelry making stations will be next spring.
The city has loaned out more than $588,000 that has leveraged $4.8 million in investments and has created new jobs “just in the past year alone,” Barlow said. “It’s really a remarkable turn-around, and we are just getting started.”
The mayor said he toured LeRoi’s operation in Fulton and was “fascinated and inspired” by the business, which sells its jewelry worldwide.
Terry LeRoy, president and CEO of LeRoi, Inc., mentioned to the Oswego mayor that he had been trying to get the sidewalks around his business done for four years and nothing happened.
The mayor recalled that he told LeRoi if he came to Oswego he’d pave his parking lot and bring him food.
LeRoi said he’d like to be a part of the Oswego community.
And within about two months, the mayor had put together a deal.
“The $130,000 to incentivize LeRoi, Inc., will certainly give a boost to our community as we move jobs into the city of Oswego and will create even more in the upcoming year. I am thrilled to partner with Terry LeRoy and his team at LeRoi, Inc., to make this project happen and look forward to seeing the positive outcomes this move and the additional jobs in the city of Oswego will have on our economy, particularly in our downtown,” Barlow said.
“We are honored and proud to be working with Mayor Barlow and we are so thrilled to be moving our operations back into the city of Oswego,” LeRoi said. “As a lifetime resident of Oswego County, it has special meaning to me. We will be bringing our existing 40 jobs into the community and are looking forward to adding additional jobs in the coming months ahead.”
The company he started out of his home specializes in high-end body jewelry, he explained. He sells items across the country and in several different countries
After 24 successful years in business, the new location will give LeRoi the much-needed space to continue to expand its ever-growing jewelry business.
He thanked Mayor Barlow, Tom Schneider (Pathfinder Bank) and William Galloway (Century 21 Galloway Realty) and several others for “their support and enthusiasm for this next chapter of LeRoi and a warm welcome back to the community.”
LeRoi, Inc., is expected to close on the building by the end of the year and plans to begin moving its operation from Fulton by April 2019.
The $130,000 grant will be applied towards the purchase of the new facility in Oswego.
“I’m the mayor of Oswego at a perfect time,” Barlow said. “We have a team throughout the entire community that allows me to do my job, much better than I would be able to on my own.”