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City Council Approves 3 Grants For Businesses In Mentor

BurgerFi, Safeguard Properties and Fredon Corporation will all receive grants from the city

City Council approved grants for three businesses that are either coming to or expanding in Mentor could during its meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

BurgerFi and Fredon Corporation will receive one-time economic development grants and Safeguard Properties will get a Mentor incentive grant, which is dependant on the business's payroll levels.

  • BurgerFi is a franchise that was started in Florida. It markets itself as an urban roadside burger stand that sells customizable burgers and "hipster dogs."

It will be renovating and opening in the former Little Mountain Farmers Market at 8748 Mentor Ave.

According to the city of Mentor's grant information, this renovation will cost about $1 million -- in part because BurgerFi will be in the Mentor Village District and the restaurant is making an effort to make sure its appearance fits the district's motif.

The Mentor BurgerFi expects to have about 50 employees and a payroll of $460,000 by 2014. That payroll is expected to grow to more than $500,000 by 2018.

The Mentor City Council voted unanimously to give BurgerFi a one-time $10,000 grant to help pay for costs associated with purchasing equipment and signage.

Mentor City Manager Kenneth Filipiak noted that it was unusual for the city to give a restaurant an economic development grant. However, one is being offered in this instance because BurgerFi is making a substantial investment into a high-profile location in the city, he said.

When BurgerFi opens in Mentor, it will be the chain's first franchise in Ohio.

  • Fredon makes for the likes of Safran and Honeywell.

It has been in business for 43 years and recently moved to a larger headquarters at 8990 Tyler Blvd.

The move has allowed Fredon to expand its output and workforce.

As part of its expansion, Fredon expects to increase its payroll from $5.4 million in 2012 to $5.9 million in 2013, as well as add $1.5 million in new equipment and machinery.

Mentor City Council voted 6-0 on a one-time $10,000 grant to help pay for costs assocaiated with this equipment and machinery.

Councilwoman Janet Dowling abstained from the vote because her company does business with Fredon.

  • Safeguard Properties Management is the largest privately held field services in the country.

It opened an office in Mentor in 2011, leasing 40,000 square feet at 8100 Tyler Blvd. -- the former National Screw building, and then it housed OfficeMax offices.

As a result of its acquisition of the Bank of America field services company, Safeguard will consolidate its operations and expand its workforce in Mentor from 148 to 184 employees with a corresponding increase in payroll.

City Council unanimously approved a 2-step, 4-year Mentor incentive grant that can be worth as much as $20,600 to Safeguard, depending on the company's payroll.

If the company maintains a payroll of $5 million or higher in Mentor in 2013, Safeguard will receive a grant worth 10 percent of its new Mentor payroll taxes.

Step two will take place in 2014 through 2016. If Safeguard maintains a payroll of $5.9 million or more during that time, it will receive a grant worth 20 percent of its new Mentor payroll taxes.

The most the grant can be worth is $20,600.

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