September 28, 2012

LMCU backs local manufacturing firm’s future

Alternative Engineering’s owner Robert Rodriguez ripples with enthusiasm and passion. He’s justifiably proud and excited after moving into his new 44,000 sq. ft. facility on West River Drive in Belmont.

Just two years ago, a large Grand Rapids bank turned down Rodriguez’s loan application. Fortunately, he connected with Lake Michigan Credit Union, which approved his SmallBusiness Administration (SBA) loan. The facility now hums with activity, energy and newfound optimism, just like its owner.

Rodriguez credits this partnership with LMCU as the driving force behind Alternative Engineering’s expansion, which resulted in the recent hiring of five new skilled trade workers and the expectation of several more in the coming year.

“LMCU was able to expedite our SBA loan faster than any other institution. Their new business development group was also very appealing to us as we moved forward in our business growth. They also have tremendous stability and positive growth, so the choice was simple” said Rodriguez.

Alternative Engineering designs and fabricates conveyor and other industrial transport systems for manufacturing companies nationwide. With 2011 gross billings of $3.1 million, Rodriguez hopes to hit $5 million in 2012. He employs about 30 workers at present and hopes to double that figure within five years.