Petoskey, Michigan -- The rebuilding of Manthei Veneer will move forward with the help of a $1.2 million loan through Great Lakes Energy’s (GLE) 0% Loan Program funded in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This loan is the largest given to date in the state of Michigan by the USDA through its Rural Economic Development Loan (REDL) program.Manthei Veneer suffered the loss of their entire mill in a fire on August 8, 2017. The family-owned manufacturer of hardwood face veneers has begun to rebuild at their current site in Emmet County due to assistance from NLEA, Michigan Works!, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), USDA Rural Development, Great Lakes Energy, Resort Township and the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.
“We are grateful for the help of the NLEA and the support from USDA, GLE, Resort Township, the MI Strategic Fund, and many other partners. We could not have done it without them,” stated Jeremy Manthei, President of Manthei Veneer. Support for the project includes:
- $470k tax abatement with Resort Township
- $280k grant from the MEDC through the Michigan Strategic Fund creating 35 jobs
- USDA Rural Development loan guarantee for funds borrowed from a local bank $1.2 million Great Lakes Energy 0% interest loan in cooperation with the USDA
- Biomass energy feasibility study through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and US Forest Service
“Spearheaded by the NLEA’s efforts and coordination within a week of the fire, the leadership team of Manthei Veneer was able to meet with representatives from the MEDC, USDA, GLE, MDARD, and Michigan Works!,” said Joe Zielinski, CFO of Manthei Veneer. “Many of our questions were answered during these meetings which ultimately helped lead to the decision to rebuild our operations in Emmet County, resulting in over 100 local jobs retained and annual purchases of over $7 million in goods and services from local businesses.”
The USDA Rural Economic Development Loan program provides funding for rural projects through qualified local utility organizations, such as Great Lakes Energy, in an effort to create and retain employment in rural areas. Great Lakes Energy is an electric cooperative serving rural areas in 26 counties throughout western Michigan.