Here are some business success stories growing their companies in northeastern Minnesota...
Tim Bungarden opened Cast Corporationin 1995 in the small town of Buhl, Minn. Five years later, he approached IRRRB for the financing needed to purchase EDM machines, CNC machines and other equipment. Another 5 years later, he called on the agency again to help finance a larger building.
"We needed to expand and begin offering production machining," he said. "We needed a bigger facility -- and loading docks."
In 2005, the company relocated to a 13,000 square foot building in Hibbing, which was twice the size of its old facility.
Since then Bungarden has been working hard to diversify the company. Cast Corporation has gone from supplying the patterns to the automotive industry to providing patterns, mold making, woodworking, castings and machining for a variety of industries. The company recently launched its own line of curb ramps made to help disabled people detect the boundary between the sidewalk and the street. It is selling them to states and cities as well as contractors across the United States.
Last fall, the company completed an 8,200 square foot expansion to its existing facility.
IRRRB has provided three separate loans to support the start-up, relocation and expansion of Cast Corporation.
Led by continued expansion and significant investment into the Iron Range, Magnetation has greatly exceeded its original job creation promise - by more than ten times their original commitment! Providing much of the original financing to build Magentation's facility, IRRRB additionally made available low-interest loans to allow the company to grow shortly after opening.
With 156 direct employees, with an average pay of $70,096, and 57 indirect contractors supporting ongoing operations, Magnetation continues to thrive in northeastern Minnesota.
"Northeastern Minnesota is a great place for an entrepreneurial effort like ours because of the financing that's available through IRRRB, which is not something you can get just anywhere," said Larry Lehtinen, CEO and majority owner.
"They've allowed a business like ours to come into existence that otherwise may not have."
Attracted to the area's dedicated workforce, Bob Menne relocated his business from Wyoming to Hoyt Lakes in 2003. He moved into a new 35,000 square foot, hired nearly 20 employees the first year, and hasn't looked back since.
"The workforce up here is quite a bit different," Menne said. "There are good, hardworking, available employees here. We have far less turnover now."
After relocating to northeastern Minnesota, Premier Plastics more than doubled its sales and growth and expanded its capabilities to include both rotational molding and thermoforming. The company makes a variety of parts for the recreational and marine industries, including seating, dash panels, cup holders, cargo boxes and other parts.
"It's been a good move for our business," Menne said.
IRRRB helped Premier Plastics secure low-interest financing for its building and equipment.