SARASOTA -- Sarasota County has responded to a Sanborn Studios countersuit in a continuing fight over whether the company created jobs it promised in exchange for more than $600,000 in public incentive money, moving Friday to dismiss the action. The film company allegedly failed to produce the jobs for which it received money.
Sanborn Studios claims the county violated its own ethics rules and state ethics codes, disregarded its own audit reports, and deliberately undermined the studio's business. A news release from the studio on Monday states that its "reputation has been severely damaged by the county's malicious actions." The studio will ask for a monetary judgment, but has not yet determined the amount.
"Instead of admitting that it has acted improperly and in violation of its own rules, and terribly mistreated one of its business citizens, or at least offering to find out who within the county has been doing that and put a stop to it, Sarasota County has instead responded with a barrage of legal filings in its continuing attempt to crush Sanborn Studios," said David Boggs, the studio's attorney. "As previously stated, Sarasota County is a dangerous place to do business."
The county filed suit against Sanborn Studios in June to regain about $350,000 of incentive money it paid the company based on promised job creation. In its 2010 agreement with the county, the studio was required to create 117 jobs with an average wage of $72,000 by Sept. 2, 2013, in return for $650,000 in county incentive money.
In its countersuit, Sanborn Studios accused the county of breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, slander of title, disparagement of property, trade libel and injurious falsehoods, interference with contractual relations, and intentional interference with an advantageous business relationship.
PEMCO expanding offices in Tallevast
TALLEVAST -- Progressive Employer Management Company, an employee leasing company providing payroll administration, human resources and other services, announced Monday it will be expanding its 18,000-square-foot corporate office at 6407 Parkland Drive in Tallevast.
With this expansion, PEMCO's Tallevast office, which oversees 40,000 worksite employees, will also function as a sales branch office for the Southwest Florida region. The expansion plan includes extensive renovations to the existing structure, and the addition of a new training room and state-of-the-art distribution facility and will grow the facility by 25 percent.
"We've continued to experience tremendous growth, and the expansion will allow us to continue this growth while more effectively serving
businesses throughout the nation," said Clint Burgess, PEMCO's president and COO. "The addition of the distribution facility will allow us to disseminate payroll documents to our clients more efficiently, and the training room will give us the space to provide hands-on training for our employees so we can provide added value to our clients."
PEMCO is a full-service provider of payroll administration, workers' compensation, employee benefits and human-resource management and was founded in 1999.
In addition to more than 60 percent of the company's internal employees based in the Tallevast office, the leadership team also operates out of this facility.
PEMCO works with clients in a variety of industries, including restaurants and hospitality, engineering, architecture, HVAC and light manufacturing. The company was recently recognized for being one of the fastest-growing companies in Florida.
Southgate Mall Williams-Sonoma announces closing
SARASOTA -- Another store at the Westfield Southgate Mall in Sarasota has set its closing date in preparation for a move to the Mall at University Town Center.
Williams-Sonoma has a sign at its storefront telling customers it will close Oct. 1 so it can open its store inside of the Mall at UTC on Oct. 16.
The cooking specialty store joins Saks Fifth Avenue, announcing a firm closing date at Southgate. Saks told the Bradenton Herald this month that it will close at 6 p.m. Oct. 6 and transfer all remaining merchandise to the new store.
The two-level, 880,000-square-foot Mall at UTC will be off of Cattlemen Road and University Parkway.
Ghost Armor repair shop to open Mall at UTC location
UNIVERSITY PARK -- Cell phone accessory and repair shop Ghost Armor will open a new location in the Mall at University Town Center.
The Gilbert, Ariz., company, known for selling military-grade cell phone cases, is advertising for new part-time and full-time sales representatives for a kiosk inside the mall.
The company was founded in 2007 and has more than 150 locations in North America. Ghost Armor will join other cell phone accessory and reapir stores iAccessorize and Cellairis. To inquire about job opportunities, visit ghost-armor.com/contact.