Michigan Fund Aids Diversification

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Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) President and CEO Greg Main have announced that the Michigan Supplier Diversification Fund will help two companies -Maverick Industries Inc. and Wolverine Metal Stamping Inc. – expand operations and create jobs. The program addresses the current lack of bank financing available to companies that are attempting to diversify. The fund is a multi-faceted initiative designed to help Michigan manufacturers and auto suppliers diversify into new emerging sectors.

“We are using every economic development tool we can to help Michigan companies expand into new sectors and find new growth opportunities,” Granholm said. “These two companies are the latest examples of our ongoing efforts to diversify Michigan’s economy and create new jobs.”

With Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approval, the two companies will receive assistance through the Collateral Support Program that was recently launched under the Michigan Supplier Diversification Fund. The program addresses the shortage of bank financing available to companies that are attempting to diversify. Under the program, the MEDC was able to partner with the companies, U.S. Small Business Administration, Michigan Certified Development Corporation and banks to provide the necessary liquidity to ensure the company could purchase fixed assets and expand its working capital.

The projects approved are:

Maverick Industries Inc.: The manufacturer will design and manufacture environmentally- friendly packaging. MBC Loans LLC plans to fast-track a loan for approximately $4 million for the former Kaneka facility in Jackson. The MSF approved allocation of $1.9 million to be used as a collateral deposit. Maverick Industries also received a Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) tax credit in February to support the project valued at $1.2 million over seven years. The project is expected to create up to 90 new direct jobs.

Wolverine Metal Stamping Inc.: The St. Joseph-based diversified metal stamping company is pursuing opportunities in the solar-power sector, including large orders from Whirlpool and Emerson that are coming back to Michigan from Mexico and China. Omni Credit Union has agreed to fast-track a consideration of the loan request for $2.5 million to assist in a significant expansion. The MSF approved allocation of up to $1 million to be used as a collateral deposit. The project is expected to create up to 30 new direct jobs.

To be eligible for the program, a company must fall under the definition of a firm eligible to receive a MEGA tax credit. A business must also be engaged with a private lender for the purpose of acquiring a commercial loan for a diversification project and exhibit a cash-flow or collateral shortfall according to the lender’s analysis.

“Using these funds to facilitate cooperation between public and private entities to get this critical capital flowing is an essential part of our economic strategy to bring jobs and investment to Michigan companies,” MEDC President and CEO Greg Main said.

The MEDC is now accepting applications for the Michigan Loan Participation Program. Interested borrowers and lenders should contact the MEDC customer service center at (517) 373-9808 for more information about how to apply.


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