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Expert Shutter Services Inc. to hire new workers over next five years

June 15, 2015

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLA - Expert Shutter Services, Inc. – the largest retail manufacturer of hurricane and security shutters on the Treasure Coast – will build a new facility and bring new jobs to St. Lucie County over the next several years, thanks in part to support from the City of Port St. Lucie and St. Lucie County.

During Monday’s Port St. Lucie City Council meeting, the city approved a three-year Ad Valorem Tax Exemption estimated at $20,886, based on current year property appraiser values.
“A diversified, growing economy is essential to a prosperous Port St. Lucie and Treasure Coast, and helping to grow our local businesses should be the central thrust of our economic development efforts,” said Mayor Greg Oravec. “It is encouraging to see the City and County working together with our economic development partner, the St. Lucie EDC, to help an existing local business, such as Expert Shutter Services, to expand its operations.”

Expert Shutter’s expansion efforts include expanding its workforce by more than 30% - at wages which equal or exceed the County’s current median. The company will also be making a capital investment of more than $2 million.

In March, the St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners also awarded a $16,500 grant to Expert Shutters through St. Lucie County’s Job Growth Investment Grant (JGIG) to help with the expansion. The grants are offered to qualifying locally-owned small businesses in St. Lucie County.

“Awarding this grant to this homegrown business with a thirty year history in our community is the perfect example of our incentives at work. A local company is being assisted in its expansion and verifiable jobs will be created,” said St. Lucie County Commission Chair Paula Lewis. “This is why we have tools such as the tax abatement program and Job Growth Incentive Grants, so that we can not only recruit new businesses to the area, but help expand those that are already here in operation.”

Expert Shutter Services is family owned and operated by Treasure Coast residents Michael and Jamie Heissenberg and their three children, Michael, Christopher and Christina, and has been in business for nearly three decades. Expert Shutter Services designs and develops new products in the hurricane and security shutter industry and holds several U.S. and international patents for their designs. They also provide installation, service, and repair of hurricane and security shutters for residential, commercial, and high-rise properties. Of the 31 employees currently working at Expert Shutter Services, about 95 percent of them have residences and families in Port St. Lucie. “We are thrilled by the show of support from the County and the City of Port St. Lucie as we expand our business and open our doors to new employees,” said Michael Heissenberg. “Within the next twelve months, we expect to hire ten new, full-time employees from the Port St. Lucie area. We are proud to help build the economy of the city we love.”

Expert Shutter Services is projected to double in size within five years. The company’s expansion strategy includes the construction of a new 24,800 square foot manufacturing facility on a 2.3 acre industrial property in Port St. Lucie, an anticipated $2,100,000 capital investment. Local companies, including civil engineers, architects, contractors and builders are being used for the construction of the new facility.

“As an expanding, home-grown, local manufacturing business that exports a product out of St. Lucie County and the United States and brings new dollars into the County, this is an excellent example of the type of contributory business that will bring new jobs to St. Lucie County and help to create stable growth in our community,” said Pete Tesch, president of the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County (EDC).

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