Stabenow Meets With Michigan Small Business Owners, Tours Small Business Manufacturer


Stabenow Meets With Michigan Small Business Owners, Tours Small Business Manufacturer


Stabenow Highlights How Small Businesses are the Backbone of Our Economy

 

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today met with Michigan small business owners during a roundtable meeting at BIGGBY COFFEE Headquarters in East Lansing and toured Clean Rooms International in Grand Rapids. During the roundtable, small business owners and members of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) discussed ideas to spur small business growth and new jobs in Michigan. Stabenow also praised the InvestMichigan! Mezzanine Fund, which will invest up to $130 million into successful Michigan companies over the next five years. The investment initiative was made possible through a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Dow Chemical Company, the State of Michigan Retirement Systems, and InvestAmerica. Following the roundtable, Stabenow toured Clean Rooms International, a local small manufacturer and exporter, which is adding jobs and keeping America competitive. There are more than 800,000 small businesses across Michigan.

 

Senator Stabenow said: “Small businesses are the economic engines in our state, creating the majority of new Michigan jobs. Creating an environment where Michigan small businesses can flourish is one of my top priorities, and why I have led efforts to cut taxes, boost lending, and eliminate red tape for small business owners.”

 

SBAM President and CEO Rob Fowler said: “We really appreciate Sen. Stabenow’s efforts in bringing a key Small Business Administration official to Michigan and participating in our small business roundtable. Our members benefitted from the opportunity to express their concerns before the senator and other key government officials. Sen. Stabenow has demonstrated a sincere devotion to the well being of our citizens. She is exceedingly well informed on the issues, and we appreciate her accessibility and her attention to the needs of her constituents here in Michigan.”
BIGGBY COFFEE CEO and Co-founder Bob Fish said: “Small Businesses like BIGGBY COFFEE appreciate Senator Stabenow for cutting the red tape and providing an environment for small businesses to grow and succeed. We are also grateful for the support from the SBA because they are instrumental in providing financing, among other services, to many of our franchisees, allowing BIGGBY to grow.”

 

Clean Rooms International President and CEO Tim Werkema said: “All of us at Clean Rooms International are excited for the opportunity to host Senator Stabenow and to showcase the role the SBA plays in assisting businesses like ours. The 504 Loan received through the SBA for the purchase and renovation of our new facility has aided in creating the flexibility needed to expand and grow our business now and in the future.”

 

Stabenow hosted the roundtable with SBAM President and CEO Rob Fowler and BIGGBY COFFEE CEO and Co-founder Bob Fish. Michigan small business owners discussed with Senator Stabenow ideas to spur small business growth in Michigan. SBAM is the only state-wide and state-based association that focuses solely on serving the needs of more than 800,000 small businesses across our state. BIGGBY COFFEE first opened its doors in East Lansing in March of 1995 and is one of the fastest growing coffee franchises in the Midwest.

 

Stabenow highlighted the InvestMichigan! Mezzanine Fund, which will invest up to $130 million in successful businesses that are headquartered, have a significant presence, and/or plan to expand or relocate in Michigan. The fund is a licensed Small Business Investment Company and managed by Credit Suisse’s Customized Fund Investment Group. The investment was made possible through a partnership between the SBA, the Dow Chemical Company, the State of Michigan Retirement Systems, and InvestAmerica.

 

While touring Clean Rooms International, Stabenow highlighted the important role that small businesses play in manufacturing and job creation through exporting. Clean Rooms International is a designer and builder of cleanrooms and a variety of components, workstations and air handling equipment that are sold to a wide range of industries through a worldwide network of independent distributors. Cleanrooms are a controlled environment needed for certain manufacturing and scientific research facilities. Clean Rooms International serves the aeronautics, automotive, electronics, medical devices, pharmaceutical, plastics, and semiconductor industries, as well as universities.

 

With the help of a $366,000 SBA 504 loan through Chemical Bank and the Economic Development Foundation, last October, Clean Rooms International purchased a 30,000 square foot facility. The loan will help the company grow its operation and hire more employees. In the past year, Clean Rooms International has grown to 26 employees and increased revenues 18 percent.

 

Senator Stabenow has been strong advocate for small businesses, cutting taxes and red tape. Earlier this year, Senator Stabenow championed a provision eliminating a burdensome requirement for small businesses, so they could focus on creating jobs instead of filing unnecessary paperwork with the IRS. The provision was signed into law in April. She was also instrumental in passing 17 small business tax cuts in the last three years, improving access to SBA loans, and strengthening state lending to small businesses and small manufacturers.

 

SBA helps provide capital, contracts and counseling to small businesses so they can grow and create jobs. SBA also serves as an advocate for small businesses across the government.

 

Read the original article at: http://stabenow.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=422