EDWC recently facilitated financing through the Washington County Impact Revolving Loan Fund to help Norse Building Products improve employee safety and increase manufacturing efficiency. Businesses in Washington County often turn to EDWC when looking to build a new facility, add onto an existing building, or re-locate to and outfit a building in Washington County. Usually the business case is that more space is needed to accommodate growth. However, sometimes to facilitate growth means looking at operations and how they can be improved to add efficiencies and streamline processes. Such was the case for Norse Building Products, who recently secured $250,000 from the Impact Revolving Loan Fund to build approximately 1,000 specialty molds to create concrete stone veneer pieces unique to their product line.
Who is Norse Building Products?
Norse Building Products has carefully built its reputation over the past 12 years on providing high quality, beautiful, manufactured stone products, in a timely fashion. The company is located in the “Middle of the Midwest” (prominently located on Main Street in Allenton, Town of Addison) right where their customers need them to be. The company manufactures lightweight, stone veneer and landscape products using locally sourced natural stone for its master templates and as the inspiration for its color palettes. Norse believes that it creates the most realistic replicas of native stone. Norse hand selects each stone that goes into its mold catalogue to provide its customers with “stones” that mimic all the character of natural stone, down to the most minute detail.
Norse is dedicated to stocking inventory based on computer models and forecasting to allow them to have materials on hand when demand is highest. Being strategically located in southeastern Wisconsin, Norse is set up to do just that. As the company strives to diversify its client base, it became apparent that production needed to increase to meet that new demand. To continue to serve the client base in Wisconsin within a 2-hour drive of its Allenton plant, newer, more efficient production methods were needed.
How Will Revolving Loan Dollars Be Used?
Norse currently has a very labor-intensive manufacturing operation, some of which does not add any value to the product, including bending and lifting movements that could potentially cause injury to its workforce. Norse’s goals are two-fold; primarily, to reduce these heavy lifting tasks with value added tasks and secondarily, Norse wants to expand its capacity and capability without increasing labor proportionally. The equipment investment of 1,000 specialty molds to create concrete stone veneer pieces will eliminate heavy lifting by automating several steps in the production process. The new manufacturing line will improve working conditions, while best utilizing its trained employees for value add tasks.
The company is working to expand its capacity while also protecting the health and wellbeing of its employees. Norse’s owner, Josh Hessel has plans to continue to diversify and grow Norse Building Products through new products for the landscape industry. In 2022 the company introduced its first landscape product, RockStep, a variety of lightweight steps that are easy to install. Plans are in the works to expand the landscape product line now that the new manufacturing equipment will increase production capacity. Supporting Norse in this current project will preserve capital for this and other future projects adding to the economic activity and strength of the Allenton community and Washington County.
An Investment that Benefits Employees and the Community
This project represents net public benefits to all taxing entities, enhanced by its taxable sales growth. The investment demonstrates the owner’s commitment to improve the quality of life for its employees and enhance the company’s ability to continue to grow in its community.
More About the Washington County Impact Revolving Loan Fund
Washington County established a Revolving Loan Fund over 10 years ago to create more prosperity for the county and its residents. Washington County’s Impact Revolving Loan Fund makes loans to help fast-growing businesses located anywhere in the county and businesses looking to relocate to the county. When businesses grow here, they create jobs, sell their products around the world and pay taxes. All of which benefits county residents, the business and their employees and families. The fund has grown steadily over the years, generating over $1.5 billion of economic and fiscal impact to the county.
Washington County, Wisconsin contracts with EDWC to manage the RLF. EDWC’s experienced staff helps businesses, and their financial partners understand how an RLF loan can help them both. EDWC works closely to assemble just the right structure package to help make a business’ goal a reality. We have loaned funds ranging from $100,000 to $1,000,000 with repayment schedules spanning as short as five years or as long as 25 years. Washington County’s Impact Revolving Loan Fund offers fixed rates and flexible collateral requirements making it a smart choice to use an RLF loan for your next project.
Learn more about the loans and incentives EDWC secures for growing businesses in or relocating to Washington County: