The Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners voted today to award Harmar Mobility, LLC $129,000 from its economic development fund (EDIF) paid over 10 years and provide a 10-year exemption from ad valorem taxes for expansion in Sarasota County. The expansion is projected to add 43 new manufacturing jobs at an average salary of approximately $58,000 and inject over $2.1 million into the local economy through capital investments.
Commissioner Mike Moran made the motion to pass both requests. The commission voted 5-0 for the EDIF incentive and 4-1 for ad valorem exemption, subject to Harmar meeting its stated hiring and investment goals.
Harmar manufactures vehicle lifts and stairlifts in its Sarasota County plant and is the largest provider of these products to the Veterans’ Administration. Over the past several years through a combination of acquired products and strong sales growth, the Company determined that it needed additional space.
According to Harmar CEO Steve Dawson, Company leadership considered relocating to other parts of Florida or Missouri, but ultimately settled on a local site in North Sarasota County. Erin Silk, Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Vice President of Business Development, noted that the EDC has been working on the project with Harmar since January of 2020, helping them apply for and receive a SMART permit (rapid permitting) and liaised with county staff throughout the permitting process. EDC also facilitated introductions to CareerSource and CareerEdge Funders to help Harmar find skilled labor—particularly welders.
“We are thrilled to be able to stay in Sarasota and ended up only moving roughly a mile away from our previous location,” said Steve Dawson, Harmar CEO. “We have been rapidly expanding and the EDC has been very helpful in supporting our growth,” he added.
EDC President and CEO Lisa Krouse stated, “Harmar exemplifies the importance of local business expansions. I am pleased that the EDC could play a role in their plans. They were already here, growing, and providing good-paying jobs with benefits. It would have a loss to our community for them to go elsewhere. It’s great that they found what they needed in Sarasota County so they can continue to grow and contribute to our local economy.”
About Harmar Mobility, LLC:
Based in Sarasota, FL, Harmar Mobility, LLC is a leading manufacturer of mobility solutions, specializing in wheelchair lifts for automobiles, stairlifts for homes, and residential and commercial vertical platform lifts. The company was founded in 1998 with the mission to use meaningful innovation to increase independence and improve quality of life for the millions of people with accessibility difficulties. Inspired by a driving purpose, we lift lives.
About the Sarasota County Economic Development Corporation
The Sarasota County EDC is Sarasota County’s economic guardian and the only entity focused solely on growing and diversifying the county’s business community. In existence since 2004, the public-private organization works to help companies in diverse sectors expand and establish in Sarasota County, contributing to an increase in the local tax base and additional employment opportunities while reducing vulnerability to external shocks that can undermine our community’s long-term economic health.