TOLEDO, OH—An auto parts supplier once on the brink of closure due to the credit crunch and the downturn in the American auto industry is now more successful than ever as a result of the federal auto rescue and loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), along with U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, today visited American Manufacturing—which is now hiring up for up to 15 additional positions due to an increase in business—to highlight the company’s remarkable turnaround as well as recent federal efforts to help small businesses grow.
“American Manufacturing is just one of the many small- and mid-sized parts suppliers that would have vanished had the American auto industry been allowed to collapse—which is exactly what some of its detractors suggested,” Brown said. “But thanks to our decision to intervene, and critical loans that were backed by the Small Business Administration, today business is booming at American Manufacturing. Once down to just two employees, American Manufacturing has been able to fill more than 100 jobs in the last several years, and is looking to add 10 to 15 new positions as a result of increased demand from the Big Three carmakers.”
American Manufacturing, located in Toledo, was founded in 1995 by Chuck Gotberg; the company specializes in the high-volume production of standard steel containers for Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and their suppliers. The company grew to 125 employees before the depths of the economic downturn, when it was reduced to merely Mr. Gotberg and one other employee. However, thanks to the federal auto restructuring and loans from Waterford Bank through the SBA 7(a) loan program, American Manufacturing was able to take advantage of new orders from Chrysler and GM, as well as from Ford. Today, the company employs more than 100 workers, and finished 2011 with sales at its pre-downturn levels; the company will soon be hiring 10 to 15 additional skilled employees.
Brown and Kaptur met with employees, toured American Manufacturing’s facilities, and outlined how this Toledo company was saved from the brink of closure directly as a result of federal government assistance through the auto restructuring and loans supported by the SBA. They were joined by Mr. Gotberg, as well as Marianne Markowitz, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Mike Miller, chairman and CEO of Waterford Bank, which provided critical loans to American Manufacturing through the SBA.
In Fiscal Year 2011, the SBA approved nearly $760 million in loans for Ohio small businesses, for a total of 3,228 loans. From Fiscal Years 2009 through 2011, the Northern District of the SBA saw more than a 65 percent increase in the volume of SBA loans to area small businesses.
Small businesses create two out of every three new jobs, making small business lending critical to our economic recovery. But small business owners faced disproportionate challenges in the aftermath of the recession and credit crisis, including difficulty accessing capital. To address this challenge, Brown was instrumental in passing the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act. This law expanded on Recovery Act’s SBA provisions that helped small business owners access more private capital to finance an expansion and hire new workers. Brown fought for increased loan limits in SBA’s most popular loan programs. Endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce and National Federal of Independent Businesses (NFIB), the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act also provided $55 million to the Ohio Department of Development under the State Small Business Credit Initiative. Click here for a summary of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act.
Since 2009, Senator Brown’s office has conducted more than 30 small business workshops throughout Ohio. These workshops have provided important information on loan programs and incentives through the SBA, resources to help small businesses increase export sales, important tax incentives to help businesses invest and hire more workers and federal procurement resources for small businesses.