|Mar 16, 2011 --
International sales are a significant part of a Holdrege, NE company aided by a USDA Rural Development guaranteed loan through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Allmand Brothers, Inc., established in 1938, is a leading manufacturer of a wide variety of portable light towers, jobsite heaters, compact tractor loader backhoes, Port-A-LiteTM light stands, and solar arrowboards. The company has 35-40 percent of its business in international sales.
The downturn in the economy had noticeably affected sales in 2009, following the trend for manufacturing companies nationwide. Allmand Bros started implementing a strategic plan that would allow it to operate more efficiently and effectively. One strategy involved restructuring existing debt in order to increase cash flow. At the time of its request for ARRA funding, Allmand Brothers had reduced its workforce to 120 employees.
USDA Rural Development was able to assist Allmand Brothers, Inc. with a guarantee for a $7 million loan through its Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. A 90 percent loan guarantee was made available through ARRA funds to Bruning State Bank of Holdrege. The guarantee loan restructured the debt by providing extended terms to fit the business’s financing needs, improving cash flow and reducing interest payments by half.
The restructuring has allowed Allmand Brothers, Inc. to increase cash flow and hire 98 employees, for a total of 218 employees. The company continues to be one of the largest employers in Holdrege and offers competitive wages and full benefit packages to its employees. Allmand Brothers, Inc. also added new equipment to its production line, allowing it to bring back previously outsourced jobs and increase its bottom line. Allmand Brothers. has been able to maintain its international sales levels, as other countries continue to increase their infrastructure, needing equipment to assist with construction projects. The company is also able to increase its domestic sales once again by using a similar sales model to that used for international sales. Allmand Brothers, Inc. saw the downturn in the economy as an opportunity to re-evaluate its business and sought input from employees in determining its long-term strategies. It has been a “team” effort and the company is seeing the success of its strategic changes.