Dealer.Com: Easing Growing Pains
Matt Kelller and Tim Cornish of Dealer.com, Burlington
Dealer.com is a global leader in digital marketing solutions for the automotive industry. In 2010 they were experiencing rapid growth and had several options for expansion, ranging from relocation to expansion of current operations.
Founded in Vermont, the company faced a difficult decision. Several states had contacted Dealer.com with very attractive incentive proposals to lure them from Vermont. There were major space constraints, and perhaps the biggest challenge was to attract the skilled workers they needed to meet the market growth they were experiencing.
The Agency of Commerce, working closely with the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation and the Community Economic Development Office of the City of Burlington, made a plan to address the company’s key issues.
The company needed to expand their building, which is certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designed facility. With the cooperation of their neighbor, Lake Champlain Chocolates, growth plans were developed which included the physical expansion of 47,360 sq. ft., taking over the former packaging and distribution facility of the Lake Champlain Chocolates factory, also a LEED-certified building.
The Vermont Economic Progress Council authorized $3.5 million in VEGI incentives for new employment and capital investments projected by Dealer.com. In 2010 and 2011, VEDA, Vermont’s state bank, loaned over $15 million for the expansion – and the Agency’s Vermont Training Program awarded $300,000 for workforce training to assist the company.
Quoting Dealer.com’s Founder and CEO Mark Bonfigli, "From the beginning, we set out to create an innovative, fun and enterprising culture in order to develop and attract the best and brightest talent in the industry. Dealer.com's emphasis on culture, employee wellness programs, training and career initiatives, and advanced technology have made Dealer.com a driving economic force in the industry as well as Vermont.”
Headquartered in Burlington, VT, Dealer.com utilizes a 63,000-square-foot revitalized building. Employees enjoy an on-site organic cafe, a sports complex that features an indoor tennis and basketball court, full gym with cardio and strength training equipment, and even ping-pong tables.
Winner of several worksite wellness programs, as well as creative awards for premiere Website design, the Dealer.com culture is one that emphasizes responsibility for the health and wellness of its employees as wellas the community. Dealer.com's new digs are complete with the total anticipated investment: $9 million.