Advice on Loans Gives Weiland, Inc., Space to Grow
Leadership at Weiland, Inc., says the guidance of Loren Kucera, Nebraska Business Development Center consultant, was instrumental when the company was advised to seek a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan as part of the financing to build a 60,000-square-foot factory for its operating shop in Norfolk.
“We are so glad we got Loren and the NBDC involved early,” says managing partner Carl Weiland. “Their impact was deep and positive. Loren was an incredible advocate for our business during the SBA loan application process. It is really easy for projects of this size to get mired in red tape, and the process is not straightforward. On top of that, we had a new building to plan."
“Needless to say, there was not an abundance of extra time to learn the ins-and-outs of a complicated loan process that involves so many parties,” Weiland says. “The task would have been quite ominous and probably close to impossible without Loren and the NBDC.”
Often referred to as Weiland Doors, the company manufactures doors and windows for harsh environmental conditions, mostly corrosive wash-down environments in sanitary food plants and waste-water facilities.
The company was founded in 1984 by Leon Weiland, who began crafting custom doors for the local meat packing plant as an effort to pay back the debt on his family farm.
After growing the business for 25 years, Leon began turning over control of his business to his son, Carl, and sons-in-law, Jason Ash and Rob Haake, in 2009. The managing partners have been running the business since 2011, and in a seven-year span have tripled the size of the company through new product innovation and excellent service.
In 2016, company leadership met with Madison County Bank officials to discuss obtaining a loan to build a factory that would meet the growing company’s need for space, as well as address environmental and personnel issues. “Our meeting with the Madison County Bank revealed that we were required to get a SBA-backed loan to make this dream come true,” Carl Weiland says. “Loren Kucera and the NBDC were one of the first calls we made to help assist us in that process.”
By February 2017, Kucera had enough information to begin assembling applications for loans from the Nebraska Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO), Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District (NENEDD), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the SBA. The loans were approved in May 2017. The company moved its operation off the family farm and into the new factory one year later.
“On a project like this, it’s easy to think that the ground-breaking is the starting line because that is when there is finally something tangible for the public to see,” Weiland says. “But there was more than a year of hard work prior to our ground-breaking that involved a lot of people. Loren and the NBDC were instrumental. Their day to celebrate was the day we broke ground, and we were happy they were able to be there to celebrate with us.”
Weiland says he and his partners would recommend the NBDC consultants to any business owner needing professional guidance. “They really seem to live out their mission to support small businesses,” he says. “I can’t imagine a reason to hesitate asking for their help.”
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