Premier Tool gets funding to grow business

When it comes to economic gardening of mid-sized companies what they need often comes down to financing.
 
Premier Tool and Die in Berrien County is one of 12 small businesses to benefit in the past year from a program to provide financing that will help them grow to the next level.
 
The tool and die maker uses specialty alloys to serve many industries including second-tier automotive, heavy truck, agriculture, appliance, military, homeowner equipment and telecommunications industries. 
 
The program that could help Premier grow is a partnership between investor banks, the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) and Grow Michigan. Grow Michigan provides collateral and capital financing support for companies with 500 employees or fewer to stimulate private-sector capital investment that aim for the next stage in expanding their enterprise.
 
For Premier Tool and Die the investment will allow the company to add 60 jobs to its current 150-employee workforce.
 
Grow Michigan offers key financing assistance for small business by offering mezzanine loans (a hybrid of debt and equity financing that typically is used to finance a company's expansion) from $500,000 to $3 million over five years.
 
Funding is provided to growing Michigan small businesses in a wide range of industries located in nine counties, including low-to-moderate income regions.
 
MSF’s contribution is approximately one-sixth of Grow Michigan’s investment.
 
Together, the 12 businesses received $20.1-million in necessary collateral and capital financing support from Grow Michigan.
 
The Grow Michigan board of managers includes equal representation from investor banks, the Michigan Strategic Fund and the founding members of Grow Michigan. Grow Michigan was founded by Russell Youngdahl, Jr., founding and managing member of NorthStar Capital; Henry Brennan, III, Partner of Howard and Howard law firm; David Treadwell, former CEO of Eagle Picher Corp.; and E. Mark Gregory, III, formerly EVP of Comerica Bank.
 
Participating investor banks include Fifth Third Bank, PNC, Huntington, PrivateBank, Crestmark Bank, Seaway Community Bank, Bank of Holland, Bank of Northern Michigan and Mercantile Bank of Michigan.
 
"Reasonably priced growth capital to Michigan’s small business community was much discussed, but not available," says Russ Youngdahl, CEO of Grow Michigan. "Through the creative initiative of the MEDC, our investor banks and Grow Michigan, we have been successful in proving that with proper underwriting, we can accelerate growth in Michigan by filling the capital needs for small business."

Source: Michigan Economic Development Corp.

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