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Uline expands to Buford
Company receives incentives to stay in Gwinnett

BUFORD - Uline's move from Duluth to Buford lays the groundwork for the company to bring an additional 500 jobs to Gwinnett County within the next 10 years. To keep that company from leaving the county's borders, Partnership Gwinnett helped secure it an incentive package worth about $800,000.

Illinois-based Uline has operated in Gwinnett County since 2000 and employs 245 workers in two 350,000-square-foot buildings in Duluth. When the company outgrew those buildings, its officials considered a move to Jackson County or the Orlando, Fla., area. The incentive package helped convince the company to stay. It is in the process of moving its operations to a 500,000-square-foot facility on Satellite Boulevard in Buford that will house distribution, call center and sales department personnel.

Once relocated, Uline will pay no Gwinnett County government or Buford City School taxes its first year in Buford. During its second year, it will pay 1/8 of the dollar amount it would normally pay toward those taxes. The third year it will pay 1/4, adding one-eighth amount each year until the ninth year, when the company will pay its full amount of taxes.

Neither Buford City Commission Chairman Phillip Beard nor anyone with the Buford City School system returned requests for information.

"It was important for us to retain our employees," manager Travis Szwast said.

Uline's employees earn about $10,000 per year above the industry average, said Nick Masino, vice president of economic development for the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce.

Uline is the third company in as many years, behind HP Data Center and FATS, to receive an incentive package to do business in Gwinnett County, Masino said.

Uline was founded in 1980 when the Uihlein family began selling box carton sizers from a playroom in its house. The company catalog today offers about 15,000 products and adds 2,000 items to its inventory each year, Szwast said. Earlier Uihlein generations owned the Schlitz beer label and brought it to the United States when the family migrated from Germany, said Frank Unick, Uline's chief financial officer.