The City Council approved economic development grants for two local business during its meeting Tuesday.
The grants will provide up to $152,000 worth of public money to the businesses if they invest a certain amount in themselves and maintain certain payroll levels.
The far larger grant, worth as much as $150,000 during the next five years, went to Eye Lighting International of North America on Hendricks Road. Eye Lighting produces bulbs and lighting fixtures that have been used all around the world, including the Vancouver Olympics.
The company plans to use the city's grant to start making light-emitting diodes (LED) as opposed to high-intensity discharge (HID) lights, President Tom Salpietra said.
Eye Lighting will receive $1 in public funds for every $5 of its own money it invests in the project, said Ron Traub, the city's director of economic development.
Also, Eye Lighting will need to reach certain payroll levels as part of the grant. It needs to increase its payroll about $800,000 next year and about $200,000 to $300,000 the next four years, Traub said
Eye Lighting had about $6 million in payroll at the beginning of the year.
As one more part of the grant, Eye Lighting will set up a scholarship with Lakeland Community College.
Councilman Ron Micchia complimented Eye Lighting's planned growth, while unintentionally making a pun.
"This is a bright spot in our economic development, a company that was born and grown here," he said.
Affiliated Podiatrists Inc. will also get $2,000 from the city to help them move from the Colonial Plaza at 7537 Mentor Ave. into its own building at 7320 Mentor Ave.
The medical office is spending $650,000 of its own money to move into the building previously occupied by Little Mountain Ltd.
Affiliated Podiatrists also intends to expand when it moves, increasing payroll by $100,000.