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NWRPC News

Posted on: February 5, 2018

NWREDF Reveals 2017 Year End Performance

The Northwest Wisconsin Regional Economic Development Fund, Inc. (NWRED) awarded loan funding to six regional businesses in 2017. The businesses that were assisted all enhanced the economic outlook of Wisconsin’s northwest region.

The funds went toward eligible projects that showed promise to retain or create for startup or expansion activities. The awarded industries represented retail, estate planning and legal services, construction, and service based businesses.

Prentice Auto Service and Repair LLC has been serving automobile owners in southern Price County, specifically Prentice, and the surrounding communities when Dustin Ochodnicky opened its doors in 2014. From what started as Dustin working solo during the first year, has now seen steady growth into a company that employs one other full-time mechanic and a part-time worker. “The growth is really tied to our mission of using our God-given talents to provide the community with quality automotive service and repair at a fair and reasonable price,” Ochodnicky said.

Ochodnicky was able to purchase a multiple work bay, move-in-ready facility that was for sale through using traditional bank lending from Community Financial Bank in Prentice and gap financing from NWRED.

“The possibilities are now becoming reality with this move,” Ochodnicky noted.

Gerry Ensign has been in the food service industry for 25 years. Starting as a caterer of invite only (word-of-mouth effort) events, Ensign has found great success through his culinary capabilities by operating Mia Mangia, a mobile food truck. Seeking an opportunity to expand his culinary career toward a full-service restaurant, Ensign purchased The Pizza Place in Grantsburg. “The Pizza Place already had a captive audience who wanted Italian style food,” Ensign noted.

NWRED’s revolving loan funding helped Ensign expand his culinary footprint by providing the critical funding needed and allowed Ensign to open on Thanksgiving Day 2017. “The opportunity provided by [the NWRED] program has helped deliver quality food to foodies who seek a variety of options in western Burnett County,” Ensign said.

Hill Construction also sought NWRED funding as the surge in residential and commercial construction necessitated a building expansion to allow for additional customer foot traffic, design space and employees. “The new facility was built to accommodate a growing workforce and growth of the company. I wasn’t anticipating an expansion this quickly,” said Jeremy Hill, owner of Hill Construction since 2004. “I would not have been able to do this project without the assistance of [the NWRED] program.”

NWRED awarded $310,974 in loan funds to regional businesses in 2017. These businesses have committed to the creation and/or retention of 85 jobs and were able to leverage $1,219,992 of owner equity injections, private or other public funds. The cost per job created and/or retained is $3,658.52 per job. The leverage ratio is $3.92 of equity, private or other public funds for every dollar of NWRED funds lent.

NWRED is one loan program under the Northwest Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (NWRPC). Twenty-six loans totaling $1,350,274 have been awarded to regional businesses in 2017 through the various lending entities under the NWRPC umbrella. These businesses have committed to the creation and/or retention of 275 jobs, and the leveraging of $12,453,194 of equity, private or other public funds. The cost per job created and retained is $4,910 per job. The leverage ratio is $9.22 of equity, private or other public funds for every dollar of funds lent. NWRPC staff has awarded a total of $5,794,115 in loan funds, leveraged $56,126,568 in equity, private and public funds, and created and/or retained 1,113 jobs in the past five years. To see if your business would qualify for a startup, transition or expansion loan product, contact loan fund manager Ken Pearson at (715) 635-2197.
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