Facility projected to create up to 39 jobs in area
LightUpToys.com, LLC, also known as LightUp, the number-one worldwide supplier of LED toys for entertainment venues such as Disney, appeared before the Clark County Council on Tuesday, October 15 to discuss a proposed expansion and request incentives. The $5.3 million project calls for the construction of a 30,000-square-foot facility to house offices and warehousing, which would triple the company’s current space. The property being considered for the project is a lot on Commerce Park Drive, Sellersburg, IN. AML Construction is the firm chosen to build the facility.
LightUp Founder and President Josh Kelly, along with his family, established the business at age 12 in Southern Indiana, importing hand-crafted items from Ecuador where the Kelly family were missionaries for six years. Helping children in need is still the mission at LightUp. Today, LightUp has 70 employees worldwide and ships its toys to every major theme park and entertainment venue in 14 countries around the world.
Kelly said “One of our biggest challenges is keeping up with the demand for our products, and having our headquarters centrally located here in Southern Indiana gives us a huge market advantage to best serve our customers with our dedicated team of engineers, designers, and account managers. We appreciate the assistance received from 1si, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and Clark County and we look forward to moving forward with our plan.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered LightUp up to $350,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired.
“As a global company, LightUpToys.com had a world of options of locations to grow, and we’re thrilled to see the company expanding at its Sellersburg headquarters,” said IEDC President Elaine Bedel. “It’s great to see a company focused on bringing joy to not only its clients, but also to the orphanages it supports around the world, using its global reach for good. We look forward to watching LightUpToys.com’s continued impact on our state and beyond.”
Members of the Clark County Council have the opportunity to vote on local incentives to secure the project. The company will submit a 10-year tax abatement request for real property taxes and a 5-year tax abatement request for personal property taxes. If approved, the tax abatements will allow LightUp to phase in its property taxes over time for the project’s qualifying investment.
“The Council is looking forward to hearing more about the expansion of the LightUpToys.com’s headquarters, and if possible, assisting with that endeavor,” said Clark County Council President Barbara Hollis. “It’s exciting this homegrown business, which was started by a 12-year-old entrepreneur, has grown into a nationally known company providing products to some of the largest entertainment corporations in the world. Companies like these are what make you proud to live and work in Clark County.”
Upon the council’s approval, LightUp plans to have the facility built and in use by the end of 2020. Approximately 39 new jobs will be created by the expansion and the salary for these positions is estimated to be 17 percent higher than the Clark County average.
“It always amazes me how a piece of Southern Indiana can make its way across the globe. I’m sure many of us have waved a product from LightUpToys at a theme park once or twice,” said 1si President and CEO Wendy Dant Chesser. “The expansion of the Sellersburg facility is great news. We appreciate their desire to stay and grow right here and 1si stands ready to help the company in any way we can.”
About LightUpToys.com, LLC:
At LightUp, the vision is to be the global leader in Light Interactive Technologies. With nearly 20 years of experience in theme park glow merchandise, employees at LightUp focus on quality products, market innovation, certified factory production and fast competitive development. With a talented team of world-class artists, creative professionals and sales teams, they strive to put all of their resources and expertise into creating brand-enhancing merchandise for their customer. LightUp is a company that values shining Jesus’ love and light around the world. Their mission is, “To transform the toy industry by creating innovative toys so that we can transform the lives of those in need around the world.” The mission that began in Ecuador in 1989 progressed to Southern Indiana in 1996 and has continued and will to continue to grow currently impacting over 450 people. LightUp’s culture is to create a reality in which every smile from a child enjoying one of their products or experiences in a theme park, contributes to a smile on the face of a less fortunate child elsewhere in the world. LightUp works together, with their customers, to bring that mission to life and lighting up the world one toy at a time! For more information, please visit our website at www.lightuptoys.com.
About One Southern Indiana
One Southern Indiana (1si) was formed in July of 2006 as the economic development organization and chamber of commerce serving Clark and Floyd counties. 1si’s mission is to provide the connections, resources and services that help businesses innovate and thrive in the Southern Indiana / Louisville metro area.
Since its inception, the organization has evolved to include a three-prong approach to serve its members and investors. Business Resources, as the chamber side of the organization, encompasses membership, signature events and programs which support and encourage business growth; Economic Development works to grow the regional economy through the attraction of new commerce and assists with retention and expansion of existing businesses; Advocacy supports businesses at the government level by engaging in the initiatives to preserve, protect and promote a business-friendly environment free of obstacles to growth and development of commerce. For more information on One Southern Indiana, visit www.1si.org.