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Able Manufacturing Seeks $1.2 Million Loan from City - KOAM TV 7

Able Manufacturing Seeks $1.2 Million Loan from City

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   The Joplin citycouncil votes unanimously for a letter of intent to support a loan request fromAble  Manufacturing.

     The Joplinindustry is seeking one point two million dollars from the city. Able Manufacturingcurrently has 260 employees on its payroll but owners believe the time is rightto grow.

Able President and CEO Dan Hillenbrand says, "Our customerbase was hit pretty hard  by therecession and it's taken a while but we're starting to see signs that there's lifeand there are growth opportunities and they're starting to come back. And asthey come to us with projects, we need to find capitol to invest in those projects,  and we can then grow asa business."

The company has a $2.5 million dollar improvement plan andseeks $1.2 million from the city. Hillenbrand says, "It would be a variety ofthings. It would be updating some existing equipment so it operates more efficientlyand it would also  be investing in newequipment to allow us to launch and produce new products."

The money would come from Joplin's Urban Development Action Grant fund or UDAG.

Chamber of Commerce President Rob O'Brian says, "The fund  kind of cycles up and down a little bit. Rightnow it has roughly a million and half in the fund.  Able is asking for the lion's share of thatfor what it  would like to do."

But O'Brian says the majority of that fund  was used to purchase property in theCrossroads Industrial park. As it is sold to new companies, the fund is repaid.And with  a flurry of activity therenow  it's unlikely the fund will be emptied.

O'Brian says, "heartland pet foodmanufacturing starts operations later this year,  and there's a  couple projects across the street. Therapysupport and TCI which is in town now is moving out to Crossroads for a biggerfacility.  And across the street EmpireService Center entails a new substation which bolsters power to the park whichmakes it more attractive.  And in  2015 MODOT will put in the interchangedirectly out of the park to interstate 44 and 49, so  there's a lot of land available fordevelopment  but a lot of positive thingshappening  that make it an even moreattractive location."

 City staff will work with Able on details of the final loanproposal. O'Brian expects the company to add forty jobs.  At one time able employed four hundred andthirty-two.  And Hillenbrand wants to getback to that . He says, "I'll be disappointed if its forty.  I  would hope it would be more than that."

 

 

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