An active month of December helped Venture North Funding and Development surpass the $1 million mark in 2017 for business lending across Northwest Michigan.
Venture North in December closed on loans with three area businesses that totaled more than a half-million dollars, including business expansion funds created through Venture North’s recent $1 million partnership with Rotary Charities of Traverse City and Chicago-based Northern Trust.
“With the continued strengthening of Northern Michigan’s economy, Venture North is experiencing increased interest in our economic development resources,” Executive Director Laura Galbraith said. “Working with our various lending partners, we’ll continue expanding our loan activity to help generate economic growth and job creation across the region.”
Specifically, Venture North’s year-end lending activity included:
- A $90,000 loan to Xpert Fulfillment, a warehousing and logistic firm based in Benzie County, for equipment purchases including a 3D printer and laser engraver, along with working capital.
- A $70,000 loan to the new owner of Fieldstone Market & Deli in Traverse City for gap financing to complete the purchase of the popular eatery located on North Long Lake Road. The new owner plans to add two additional full-time positions.
- $75,500 to Strong Brew, a tenant in Cherry Capital Foods in Traverse City, to purchase a 200-gallon stainless steel tank for brewing coffee. The company is a cold brew coffee production and distribution operation. The loan will help Strong Brew add two full-time positions and one part-time employee.
All of those loans were funded through the Rotary Charities/Northern Trust partnership with Venture North. In addition, Xpert Fulfillment secured a $330,000 loan through Benzie County’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Loan program administered by Venture North for additional equipment purchases, inventory and other working capital including advertising and training. Xpert plans to hire 12 new positions as part of the expansion.
The flurry of December transactions propelled Venture North’s total lending past the $1 million mark for 2017, totaling $1,367,520 for the year. Venture North assisted 100 area businesses over the year, helping them create 38 new jobs. Venture North’s cumulative lending activity now totals $4,670,596 of deployed capital to 79 business across the region, leading to creation of some 300 new jobs.
By industry, 38 percent of Venture North’s clients are in the professional/technical services sector, 26 percent in hospitality and retail, 21 percent in agricultural and food processing and 15 percent from the manufacturing sector. Thirty-eight percent of Venture North’s funding has gone toward equipment purchases, with 33 percent toward construction expenses and 29 percent toward inventory. By business stage, 39 percent of Venture North’s clients are companies that have been in business for at least seven years, while 35 percent are start-up companies or have been in business less than two years. The remainder – 26 percent – are early stage companies in business from three to seven years.