CINCINNATI – The city of Cincinnati successfully wooed Pure Romance.
The Loveland-based purveyor of bedroom toys and sexual enhancement products has decided to move its global headquarters downtown, according to a statement issued Tuesday by CEO Chris Cicchinelli.
“We are proud to be an even bigger part of this community that has been so supportive and instrumental to our growth and success,” Cicchinelli said in the statement. “We look forward to playing an active role in the continued resurgence of this region’s urban core and know that Pure Romance professionals will add to the dynamic and exciting growth being enjoyed in downtown Cincinnati.”
Pure Romance expects to move toward the end of this year.
The company considered leaving Ohio after being snubbed by Ohio’s top economic development official.
City officials had agreed to award incentives worth $358,000 to encourage the company’s relocation to the Delta Air Lines reservations center at 655 Plum St. downtown.
Jobs Ohio, a public private partnership that takes the lead on the state’s economic development projects, worked to create a job creation tax credit deal worth $108,000 for the company.
But Ohio Development Services Director David Goodman nixed the tax credit offer, saying it wasn’t the best use of state resources.
That prompted other communities to court Pure Romance and its jobs.
Some in the city worried that the state of Ohio was pushing jobs away because of the sexual nature of Pure Romance's business.
After what Cicchinelli termed “a careful and thoughtful process,” company leaders decided that staying in Ohio where the business started and moving downtown is “the best fit for Pure Romance and our growing business.”
Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld praised the move in a statement he issued after the announcement.
"I'm glad that cooler, less prudish heads prevailed, and that we won the fight to bring good jobs to Cincinnati," Sittenfeld said in the statement. "When the state made it seem like they didn't value this successful, growing company, the City was able to step up and show we're genuinely excited for Pure Romance to call Cincinnati home."
The city administration nearly doubled its initial incentive offer while courting the company. The city is now offering Pure Romance a property investment reimbursement incentive valued at nearly $700,000 over the life of the 20-year agreement, according to city spokeswoman Meg Olberding. The offer must be approved by City Council.
In his statement, Cicchinelli thanked Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney and his staff “for their exceptional professionalism and enthusiasm.”
He also thanked officials from the city of Covington, Campbell County and Northern Kentucky’s Tri-County Economic Development Corp., known as Tri-ED, which consulted with the company about moving to Northern Kentucky.
The company’s business is built on in-home parties to sell sexual enhancement products. Pure Romance has sales consultants in North America, South Africa and Australia and boasts more than 4 million customers.
It has annual revenue of more than $100 million.