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Siesta Key Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011 10 years ago

Sarasota County approves grant

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

The Sarasota County Commission Wednesday, Nov. 9, approved a $120,000 economic development inventive grant for a manufacturing company seeking a larger facility within the county limits.

Representatives of the unidentified company also have reported plans to add 40 jobs within the next five years.

The unanimous vote on the grant came during the commission’s regular meeting in Sarasota.

The company, identified with the code name, “Project Dish,” has been manufacturing hospitality products in the community for the past 29 years.

“Their current facility is less than 9,000 square feet and they need more space desperately,” said Jeff Maultsby, business and economic development manager for the county’s Economic Development Corp.
The company has located a new facility with 21,000 square feet, Maultsby said. That extra space also would enable it to add 40 jobs over the next five years, he said, with an annual average salary of $41,460.
“Project Dish” was sold four years ago, according to a report Maultsby prepared for the County Commission. Since then, the report said, the new owners have been focused on expanding their manufacturing processes and adding new employees.

The company currently employs 35 people with an average salary of $49,636; the worker benefits packages are valued at $18,1000.

“The new facility will allow the company to incorporate more efficiency on the manufacturing side and will support its planned expansion into the states of Georgia and Louisiana,” the report said.

The grant will help offset costs for the build-out of the new facility and the purchase of equipment.

The new facility, according to the report, will include “a 3,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art catering kitchen facility that’s unlike any in the county, capable of providing services to small catering businesses.”

The report notes that the business “contracts with local companies to provide services such as welding, uniforms, mechanics, printing, office equipment and raw materials.”

In return for the grant, the report said, the net positive contribution to the local economy would be the generation of 50% of the company’s sales within the county.

Commissioner Joe Barbetta, who sits on the Economic Development Corp. board, made the motion to approve the great request.

“Staff has vetted this process and I’m very comfortable with this,” Barbetta said.

In related commission business Nov. 9, another company, this one with the code name, “Project Safe,” retracted an incentive grant request before the meeting began. It had been seeking $120,000, but it had secured private funding.

A Sarasota company will receive a $120,000 financial incentive grant to expand its business and its number of employees.
Name of company: “Project Dish”
Address: Sarasota County
Last year’s annual sales/revenue for the company: $3,957,936
Existing employees: 35
Average wage of existing employees: $49,636, plus benefits valued at $18,102.
Number of new jobs to be created: 40 (30 to 35 of those for unemployed county residents).
Average wage for jobs to be created: $41,460.

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