Five Small Businesses Receive State Grants for Job-Creating Expansion Plans

The five businesses across Minnesota will use a total of $706,000 in state funding to help grow their companies, with a collective commitment to consequently add 131 total jobs.

Five Small Businesses Receive State Grants for Job-Creating Expansion Plans
In support of five companies that have committed to $20.7 million worth of expansion projects, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced Wednesday it would contribute nearly $706,000 in individual grants.
Each company will receive their share of the funds if they reach their investment and hiring goals. Between the five companies, the expansions are expected to create 131 new jobs.
The DEED grants, which will come out of the state’s Job Creation Fund, were approved for Bondhus Corp (based in Monticello), Clyde Machines (Glenwood), Geotek (Stewartville), Mortarr LLC (Albert Lea) and Reliant Systems (Zimmerman).
"Supporting business expansions like these is exactly what the Minnesota Job Creation Fund is designed to do," said Governor Mark Dayton, in a statement. "I congratulate these Minnesota businesses and their hard-working employees for their successes. We are grateful for their contributions to our economy and for the 131 new jobs these expansions will create.”  
Geotek was the only beneficiary of that five that wasn’t majority woman-owned. For $5.8 million, Geotek plans to purchase and renovate a building near its existing facility, as well as buy production equipment for the new building. The fiberglass manufacturer expects to add 62 jobs within five years with wages averaging $16.91 per hour.
Bondhus Corps, a firm that manufactures hand tools, will invest $2.3 million into a 12,600-square foot addition, and make other site adjustments to accommodate a new product line. The plan calls for creating 15 jobs within three years at an average hourly wage of $20.69.
Clyde Machines, which manufactures ground support equipment for the airline industry, will create 15 jobs with an average hourly wage of $14.73, as it plans to invest $9.2 million into building a 100,000 square-foot production facility.
The 34 new employees Mortarr anticipates it will add will occur over a two-year span, with wages from those jobs averaging $22.29 per hour. The company is making a $1 million investment into renovating a historic building in downtown Albert Lea. The refreshed historic building will serve as the headquarters for Mortarr, a software business startup specializing in commercial construction and design.
A $2.4 million investment into a new 28,000 square-foot facility will create five jobs at Reliant Systems Inc., a manufacturing firm that focuses on custom-designed semiconductor and medical products. The firm’s new employees will bring in an average of $26.2 per hour in pay.
The Job Creation Fund that will support these companies was created in 2013 by Governor Mark Dayton. The pay-for-performance program is open only to businesses that, if located in Greater Minnesota, invest at least $250,000 into growth projects that will create at least five full-time jobs. Twin Cities businesses are also eligible, but must promise a minimum investment of $500,000 with the expectation of creating at least ten jobs.
To date, DEED has awarded about $38.1 million for 87 projects across Minnesota. Benefiting companies have committed to adding 5,252 full time jobs and making their own investments of more than $1 billion, according to DEED.
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