Company selling ZeroMold cleaner to bring 52 jobs in Manatee

HERALD STAFF REPORTNovember 21, 2013 

MANATEE -- A newly formed company that will sell a Canadian mold killer in the U.S. plans to hire 52 people for a warehouse in south Manatee County.

New South Biolabs LLC has acquired the rights to sell, market and distribute ZeroMold, an anti-microbial cleaner made by Toronto-based Biosenta Inc., and will open in a 15,000-square-foot warehouse at 2280 Trailmate Drive, in the Parkland Center.

The company is expected to start here in December, said Bill Connor, president of New South Biolabs, with staff hiring, training, regulatory approvals, and logistics to follow in 2014.

New South Biolabs plans to add 52 employees over five years, according to Sharon Hillstrom, president and chief executive officer of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp.

"Two years in the making, this is the first international project directly resulting from the EDC's outreach initiative that began in 2011 through a grant provided by Manatee

County government," Hillstrom said. "Our initial conversations in Toronto with Bill Connor, New South Biolab's president, placed the Bradenton area on the company's radar as it was identifying a location for marketing Biosenta products in the southern U.S., Central and South America, and the Caribbean."

After initiating discussions with Connor in Toronto two years ago, the EDC helped with site selection and the company's application for performance-based economic development incentives through Manatee County government.

The Manatee Board of County Commissioners approved New South to receive up to $104,000 in performance-based incentives as the company adds 52 jobs over the next five years. The jobs created must have an average wage at least 50 percent higher than the current local area wage of $35,633, according to the EDC. The company's facility also qualified for the county's rapid response permitting program.

"The Bradenton area offered a number of attributes that attracted us," said Connor of New South Biolabs. "We need a warm climate to help protect the product from damage, the cost of doing business was attractive, and we value proximity to Port Manatee for future distribution.

"The EDC provided an abundance of data to assist in making the transition to the Manatee County-Bradenton area a logical choice," Connor noted.

New South Biolabs' agreement grants New South Biolabs the exclusive rights to market and distribute ZeroMold throughout the southern U.S., Central and South America, and the Caribbean. ZeroMold (www.zeromold.com) was approved by Health Canada in October 2012 and is being manufactured and distributed across Canada. U.S. environmental applications were submitted in July with approvals anticipated in the first quarter of 2014, according to the company.

The company also plans a full science lab, internal logistics and sales teams, Connor said. Biosenta Inc. is looking to use local compounders and bottling companies to produce the liquid product nearby.

"It's encouraging to see progress so soon on the international aspect of the economic development marketing initiative," said Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker. "The EDC's focused approach and tenacious follow-up, combined with a business-friendly local government, give foreign companies confidence that the Bradenton area wants new employers and the quality jobs they bring."

The EDC met with Connor in November 2011, and he visited the Bradenton area numerous times to investigate the community and review site options presented by the EDC.

"Two years is actually a very rapid pace for a project like this to come to fruition," Hillstrom said. "The industry average is five years from first contact to a firm commitment. It was obvious to us that New South Biolabs was eager to put their operation in place to capitalize on the licensing agreement with Biosenta, which already has a licensee for Canada and the northern U.S."

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