SBA Loan Program Helps Small Businesses Grow - Brainerd Dispatch
SBA Loan Program Helps Small Businesses Grow – Brainerd Dispatch

BAXTER — Small business investing was celebrated and encouraged during a statewide tour to highlight the success of a loan program, which included a stop at LINDAR Corp. at Baxter.

The loan program offers opportunities for expansion and officials spoke of its ability to provide access to capital and support job growth through local partnerships.

The spotlight on the Small Business Administration’s 504 loan program brought together a small group of economic development officials, entrepreneurs, local lenders, city officials and SBA representatives for what was billed as a celebratory tour of certified development companies.

By highlighting success stories, the goal was in part to raise awareness of the long-standing 504 program and encourage others to consider the loan as a way to invest in real estate and equipment, with a view to create and maintain jobs. The SBA’s 504/Certified Development Companies loan program secures long-term financing for the purchase of real estate, equipment, and other fixed assets.

US Small Business Administration Minnesota District Director Brian McDonald and US Representative Pete Stauber took part in the tour stop at LINDAR Corp.

LINDAR Corp., owned by Ellen and Tom Haglin, used its first loan from the 504 program about 23 years ago. Tom Haglin noted that Bruce Kennedy, Riverwood Bank, helped them throughout the program.

Explaining the 504 program, Kennedy said it allows a business owner to invest, as the Haglins did in this case in equipment, with less money and take advantage of terms and better rates than a community bank could offer.

“They’re able at the end of the project to get a long-term fixed rate and the bank basically funds 50% of the long-term project, and the SBA or 504 does the next 40,” Kennedy said, with the company. able to invest with 10% down payment.

Tom Haglin said using the 504 program for an ongoing project was equivalent to a capital expansion of $6 million.

“So we have a lot of equipment that we bring in. It’s our biggest capital investment we’ve made,” said Tom Haglin, adding that the low interest rate means they can buy more.

The Haglin family has several businesses. LINDAR, a plastic thermoforming manufacturer, manufactures formed plastic parts, paint trays and liners, food packaging and motion graphics materials for labeling and packaging. Across the street, the Haglins have Avantech, a tool-building company, and Tri-Ven, a rotational molding company with EUFOURIC Brands, which makes products for the outdoors, like the Maluna cooler. Tom Haglin said outdoor products, the brainchild of their sons Garrett and Connor, is a big reason for the expansion.

LINDAR is a major player in the paint business with paint trays and pail liners and in the food packaging market with clamshell containers. The company’s products can be found nationwide, from Walmart to Cub Foods, QuikTrip to Lowe’s and Home Depot, whether in Pennsylvania or Minnesota, said Steve Lund, chief financial officer and vice president of LINDAR. The company also does business with Toro, Bobcat, Polaris – companies that ship products around the world.

“That’s the real model that should be shown across the country on how to help employers expand access to capital, and you’re doing it together,” Stauber said, citing the Haglins and LINDAR as examples.

Tyler Glynn, executive director of Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp., said one thing that might be missed from time to time is extremely important and that is the workplace. Glynn said the Haglins provide a great place to work and great employee benefits. While everyone is looking for employees, the Haglins manage to fill their businesses.

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Chief Financial Officer and Vice Chairman Steve Lund leads a panel with Congressman Pete Stauber Tuesday, April 12, 2022 at Baxter. Stauber was at the manufacturing facility with Minnesota Small Business Administration district manager Brian McDonald as part of a statewide tour highlighting the local success of the 504 loan program.

Steve Kohls/Brainerd Dispatch

Stauber underlined this comment after touring the manufacturing plant, telling Ellen and Tom Haglin that it says a lot about them and how much they value their employees, who are the best assets they have.

One of the missions of the Stauber committee is the small business committee. He said he had requested a waiver to serve on that committee, in addition to what would be his two normal assignments on the committee, because he wanted to help businesses through the pandemic. He said one thing to emphasize when visiting LINDAR is collaboration. Stauber praised McDonald’s and the SBA’s work as a guide through uncertain times. The statewide tour provides an opportunity to hear from businesses, lenders and development officials. Stauber said they were also there to hear about challenges and issues.

“The legislation we’re talking about in the small business community and the amendments we’re proposing come from conversations like this, so we can make it easier, so you can live that American dream and be an employer for the region” , Stauber said.

McDonald said Minnesota Business Finance Corp., which was LINDAR’s 504 lender, is the number one lender for all state loan programs.

“We come here today because of the tremendous growth in these access to capital and financial programs,” McDonald said. “So, for example, MBFC, in terms of the number of loans, is up 30% over last year, and last year was a historic year. That’s why we wanted to come here today to spread the word, to spread the word about the 504 program, to talk to business owners who have used this program directly.

Following this 30% increase, the Minnesota Business Finance Corp. helped create or retain more than 1,000 jobs this fiscal year alone, McDonald said.

“And that’s up more than 100% from last year, and last year was a landmark year,” McDonald said. “So it’s great to have some of the tools and support during the pandemic to help small businesses and do our part to administer this program.”

The Minnesota Business Finance Corp. said it made 30 loans last year in Minnesota’s 8th District for $82 million out of a total of 150 loans for $245 million statewide.

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Julie Anderholm with Anderholm Consulting speaks Tuesday, April 12, 2022, during a discussion with Congressman Pete Stauber and US Small Business Administration officials at LINDAR Manufacturing at Baxter.

Steve Kohls/Brainerd Dispatch

Stauber heard that increasing regulations made the job harder. Stauber said they are considering reducing repetitive regulations and have identified four and know there are hundreds more. “It’s a hurdle for small businesses that doesn’t need to be done,” Stauber said.

Haglin said he likes the idea of ​​getting started and getting rid of unnecessary regulations. He also mentioned Riverwood Bank, the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp. and the town of Baxter.

“It’s so easy to do business in this community. It can be harder even not too far across the river to do business,” said Tom Haglin. “And when you bring those kinds of synergies together, it becomes really, really easier or easier to grow and make that happen.”

Lund said every dollar invested has a multiplier of income and dollars spent in the community to buy locally, employ people and pay taxes.

“So every dollar makes a big difference when it comes to generating revenue,” Lund said. “And again, that revenue is being distributed right here in this community. And thanks to the town of Baxter for all their help in keeping him here.

Lund also served as a tour guide as the group walked through the manufacturing plant to see the work for themselves. “So when you walk around here, you get a glimpse of what’s going on here in Baxter in northern Minnesota that has an impact that extends far beyond.”

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Congressman Pete Stauber, left, listens as LINDAR CFO and Vice President Steve Lund explains how the manufacturing process works Tuesday, April 12, 2022, while Owner Tom Haglin and District Manager Brian McDonald of Minnesota from the US Small Business Administration speak. Officials toured the company to highlight the success of the 504 loan program highlighting access to capital and job growth through local partnerships.

Steve Kohls/Brainerd Dispatch

In fiscal year 2021, 504 Program loans in Minnesota reached a historic $448.8 million in loans to support jobs and economic growth, the SBA reported, noting that this was an increase of 168% compared to fiscal year 2020.

Loans under the 504 program in Minnesota are up 16% so far in fiscal year 2022, compared to historic levels reached in fiscal year 2021, the SBA noted.

In Minnesota, 504 statistics for fiscal year 2020 include 277 loans for $167.5 million. In fiscal year 2020, there were 681 loans for $448.8 million.

Overall, SBA-supported lending programs in Minnesota have increased 37.2% overall since February fiscal year 2022 compared to February fiscal year 2021.

Renee Richardson, Managing Editor, can be reached at 218-855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchBizBuzz.

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