Ohio Treasury program helps local small businessWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
With the current state of the economic climate, many small businesses have struggled to survive. By taking advantage of the GrowNOW program through the Ohio Treasurer’s Office, however, local business P&J Manufacturing was able to stay afloat.
“The money kept us going through a bad time,” P&J Manufacturing owner Peter Harvey said. “We were able to put on a portion of a new roof and will do the other half later this year. We were able to keep all the guys we had, add some new guys and some automation equipment that allowed me to speed things up to get stuff out the door faster.”
GrowNOW is a linked deposit program which allows businesses with fewer than 150 employees to get up to a 3-percent rate reduction on a loan. The Treasury essentially places a deposit at the business’s bank and lets the bank earn interest on it to make up for the interest it is not charging to the business.
“I believe the backbone of the American economy in Ohio is manufacturing,” said State Treasurer of Ohio Josh Mandel.
“It really helps the small businesses,” said Mandel’s Press Secretary, Seth Unger. “A 3-percent rate reduction on a loan, that’s real money in the pocket.”
Among the major qualifications for the GrowNOW program is that the small business must create or retain jobs locally. Mandel recently visited P&J Manufacturing to tour the facility and meet some of the employees, some of whom were able to be retained because of the money from the program.
“Because of the GrowNOW program we have been able to add equipment and keep our guys through the recession without any cuts,” Harvey said. “Along the way we have made some building upgrades and we have added some equipment and some modifications to equipment.”
Thanks to the equipment modifications purchased with the money saved from the program, Harvey was able to better operate his company’s production of snap rings. Originally, these rings would sit in a large feeder bowl and become, as Harvey described, “like a tangled-up slinky.” Harvey and his employees would have to untangle and feed each ring into the machine by hand, producing about 2,000 each day. With the purchase of a $20,000 machine, the process has been automated, giving the company better results.
“By adding the automation equipment we went from a couple thousand to upwards of 25,000 a day,” Harvey said. “That particular job demands 60,000 to 100,000 a week, so without the automation stuff not only would we not have kept customers but we flat out probably wouldn’t have survived.”
“It makes me proud that in the treasurer’s office we could be helpful to keep hardworking middle-class jobs here in Toledo,” Mandel said.
P&J Manufacturing was founded in 1977 by Harvey with his parents, John and Elizabeth. It is a precision metal finishing company that gets stampings and castings from stamping plants in the area as well as other states as far as Tennessee and Wisconsin.