News Column

Grow Michigan aims to help small businesses sprout

February 17, 2014

Detroit Free Press

Feb. 17--Grow Michigan, an investment firm that provides money to small businesses throughout the state to help them expand, has, in its first year, loaned more than $20 million to a dozen companies.

The Plymouth-based firm -- which works with banks, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the Michigan Strategic Fund -- offers loans ranging from $500,000 to $3 million to small businesses in a variety of industries.

"We have been successful in proving that with the proper underwriting and partnerships, we can accelerate growth in Michigan by filling the capital needs for small business," Russell Youngdahl Jr., CEO of Grow Michigan, said in a statement.

Collectively, the businesses the firm has invested in now employ about 1,000 workers and are expected to hire about 250 more.

The companies are: Thomas Industrial Rolls, Northern Lakes Seafood & Meats, Hamilton Engineering, Sakthi Automotive Group USA, and MCM Management Corp., all in Wayne County; Novo Motor Acoustic Systems in Macomb County; Premier Tool & Die Cast in Berrien County; Bar Fly Ventures in Ingham County; Wolverine Metal Stamping in St. Joseph County; Skilled Manufacturing in Grand Traverse County; Kalkaska Screw Products in Kalkaska County and Gonzalez Group in Hillsdale County.

The firm said it targets profitable small businesses with what it considers strong management teams.

Commercial and community banks that have invested in the firm include Fifth Third Bank, PNC Bank, Huntington, the PrivateBank, Crestmark Bank, Chemical Bank, Independent Bank, Northstar Bank, the Bank of Holland, the Bank of Northern Michigan, Mercantile Bank of Michigan, First National Bank of Michigan and OSB Community Bank.


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Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)

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