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Ember Recreational Vehicles Expands Bristol, Indiana, Operations

Ember Recreational Vehicles Inc., a new startup RV manufacturer, will invest $4 million to launch operations in Bristol, Indiana. The company plans to scale its workforce up to 150 positions by the end of 2023.

Ember, which was founded earlier this year, plans to build an 87,750-square-foot building on 15 acres in Bristol Commerce Park in Elkhart County. Construction is expected to be completed by September 2021 with production starting soon after. The company, which currently operates out of 18,000 square feet of warehouse, production and office space in Bristol has grown to 23 employees over the last few months as it started the prototype process.

“Northern Indiana, specifically Elkhart County, has earned its title as the ‘RV Capital of the World’ honestly," said Ashley Bontrager Lehman, Ember president and CEO. "The craftsmanship, dedication and work ethic of the local workforce has proven, over decades, to be unmatched. I, along with Ember's three other founding partners, Chris Barth, Steve Delagrange and Ernie Miller, knew starting our company in Northern Indiana would provide a solid foundation for a successful future. We strongly felt to build a better RV, we need to build a better RV company first. We’re excited to bring a fresh approach to the RV Industry and where better to do it than Indiana?”

As an incentive, Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered Ember Recreational Vehicles Inc. up to $1 million in conditional tax credits based on the company’s plans to create up to 150 jobs by the end of 2023 and up to $100,000 in conditional tax credits from the Hoosier Business Investment tax credit based on the company's planned capital investment in Indiana. These credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired and investments are made. The town of Bristol will provide additional incentives up to $425,000.

"Hoosiers are innovators, launching businesses that are developing new solutions for today’s challenges affecting industries Indiana is known for across the nation," Jim Staton, Senior Vice President and chief business development officer for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. "Ember Recreational Vehicles is a prime example of one of those companies, finding success with the support of a strong entrepreneurial culture and a business climate that keeps taxes, expenses and regulations low while providing talent and growth opportunities.”

Founded in early 2021 by Lehman, granddaughter of Jayco Founders Lloyd and Bertha Bontrager, Ember is entering the marketplace with light-weight, laminated travel trailers featuring off-road and off-grid capabilities, with plans for future product expansion.

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