PALMETTO -- En-Vision America, Inc., a life sciences innovation company, has relocated its headquarters to Palmetto.
The company's production will move to Palmetto in phases, said David Raistrick, vice president for En-Vision. It is still unclear whether the company will keep its Illinois facility in addition to the roughly 9,000 square-foot facility it purchased in Palmetto at 425 4th St. W. Raistrick estimates a decision within the next year to 18 months on whether they'll keep both locations.
The company oscillated between Texas and Florida and actively sought property for more than two years before making a final decision, Raistrick said. Manatee County's potential for workforce development and the lifestyle factor swayed them to the Bradenton area, in addition to population factors.
The company's products are designed to make life easier for those living with visual impairments. En-Vision makes audible, large-print and Braille prescription labels and a tool to help visually impaired people identify products and surroundings via UPC or bar codes.
"What Florida gives us is for our type of business we do a lot with medication and elderly individuals so Florida is just a better climate for that," Raistrick said. Rising taxes in Illinois were another driver for finding a new location.
En-Vision qualified for Downtown Commercial Core incentives from the Palmetto Community Redevelopment Agency, including an estimated $7,000 base and $14,750 in bonus incentives if certain targets are met, according to Sharon Hillstrom, president and chief executive officer of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp.
Incentives are based on local vendor usage and the City of Palmetto's comprehensive plan, said Jeff Burton, director of Palmetto's Community Redevelopment Agency. The incentives used for En-Vision are the same set of incentives used for It Works! when it moved its headquarters to Palmetto in 2014.
The base funds require approval from the Palmetto CRA board, or the Palmetto City Commissioners, and once building alterations are complete and the city receives a certificate of occupancy, the base incentive will be paid in phases.
About 20 En-Vision employees will move to Florida from Illinois and Raistrick said they intend to hire about 20 more from the Bradenton area for a variety of departments. Those interested in working for En-Vision in Palmetto can contact Joy Jackson at email@example.com.
The Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp., City of Palmetto and En-Vision are all excited about the possibilities for the company in Palmetto.
"En-Vision America, our newest City of Palmetto corporate partner will help our local economy with new jobs and a growing tax base," said Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant in a statement. "They should help spur even more private investment and encourage our local restaurants and businesses."
Janelle O'Dea, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow her on Twitter@jayohday.