Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson joined Oakland County’s Economic Development Corp. (EDC) and the Business Finance Corp. (BFC) to honor and recognize 30 area businesses who invested nearly $52 million in their businesses in 2009-2010 while creating or retaining almost 900 jobs.
The celebration attracted more than 300 people and was held June 14 at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. The companies, through the BFC and EDC, participated in the county’s U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loan program and Industrial Revenue Bond program and met or exceeded job creation goals. SBA loans provide viable small businesses with long-term fixed-rate financing for fixed assets
“Government doesn’t create jobs, the private sector does,” Patterson said. “We simply create the environment for business growth and success. I love these businesses, their energy and their commitment. I can’t thank them enough for what they do.”
Coincidentally, the celebration happened the same day Patterson announced an initiative that aims to have the county’s unemployment rate to reach five percent – which economists consider full employment. The target is to create about 18,200 jobs within the next 20 months.
Patterson said he was encouraged by investment already approved in 2012 for the BFC: 20 loans in the first seven months of the fiscal year, which total more than $20 million. In 2011, the BFC and EDC funded 26 projects totaling $13.2 million.
For the celebration, Patterson noted that 25 loans were made to Oakland County companies and one each to companies in Livingston, Monroe, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. The largest single project was Ultimate Soccer Arenas LLC in Pontiac, with a total project cost of $16.6 million.
Huntington National Bank was honored for being Bank of the Year. In 2011, the bank participated in 23 percent of all SBA 504 loans and 21 percent of all loans funded last year.
The Business Finance Corp. and the Economic Development Corp. assist companies with fixed asset financing. Since 1980, the EDC has funded 109 projects totaling $773 million in investment and creating or retaining 14,745 jobs. Since 1981, the BFC has funded 448 loans totaling more than $510 million in investment and creating or retaining 16,800 jobs.