SBA loan program helps small businesses grow – Brainerd Dispatch


BAXTER — Investment in small businesses was celebrated and encouraged during a statewide tour to highlight the success of a loan program, including a stop at LINDAR Corp. at Baxter.

The loan program provides opportunities for expansion, and officials spoke of its ability to provide access to capital and support employment growth through local partnerships.

The Small Business Administration’s 504 loan program brought together a small group of economic development officials, entrepreneurs, local lenders, city officials, and SBA representatives for the event, which is touted as the Certified Development Companies Celebration Tour.

By highlighting the success stories, part of the aim was to raise awareness of the longstanding 504 program and encourage others to view credit as a way to invest in property and equipment with an eye to job creation and retention. The SBA’s 504/Certified Development Corporations loan program guarantees long-term financing for the purchase of real estate, equipment, and other fixed assets.

Brian McDonald, Minnesota Regional Manager of the US Small Business Administration, and US Representative Pete Stauber attended the tour stop at LINDAR Corp.

LINDAR Corp., owned by Ellen and Tom Haglin, used its first 504 program credits nearly 23 years ago. Tom Haglin noted that Bruce Kennedy of Riverwood Bank helped them throughout the program.

In announcing the 504 program, Kennedy said it allows a business owner to invest with less money and enjoy better terms and rates than a community bank can offer, as Haglins in this case did in equipment.

“They can get a long-term flat rate at the end of the project, and the bank finances 50% of the project long-term and the SBA or 504 does the next 40,” Kennedy said. Investing with 10% discount.

Tom Haglin said that using the 504 program for an existing project is a $6 million capital expansion.

“So we have a lot of equipment that we’re bringing in. This is our biggest capital investment we’ve made,” said Tom Haglin, adding that the low interest rate means they can buy more.

The Haglin family owns multiple businesses. LINDAR, a plastic thermoforming manufacturer, produces materials for shaped plastic parts, paint trays and liners, food packaging, and motion graphics for labeling and packaging. Across the street is Tri-Ven, a rotomolding company with Avantech, a tool-making company in Haglins, and EUFOURIC Brands, which creates products for the outdoors, such as the Maluna cooler. Tom Haglin said outdoor products, an invention of his sons Garrett and Connor, are a big reason for expansion.

LINDAR is a major player in the paint business with paint trays and pail liners and in the food packaging market with lidded containers. LINDAR’s chief financial officer and vice president, Steve Lund, said the company’s products can be found across the country, from Walmart to Cub Foods, QuikTrip to Lowe’s and Home Depot, whether in Pennsylvania or Minnesota. The company also does business with Toro, Bobcat, Polaris, which ship products worldwide.

Citing Haglins and LINDAR as an example, Stauber said, “This is the main plan that needs to be laid out across the country on how to help employers expand their access to capital, and you’re doing it together.”

Tyler Glynn, executive director of Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Inc., said that one thing that can be overlooked at times is extremely important, and that is the workplace. Glynn said Haglins is a great place to work and provides great employee benefits. While everyone is looking for employees, the Haglins can fill their jobs.

Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Steve Lund leads a group with Congressman Pete Stauber at Baxter on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. Stauber was at the manufacturing facility with Brian McDonald, Minnesota District Manager of the Small Business Administration, as part of a statewide tour that highlighted the local success of the 504 loan program.

Steve KohlsBrainerd Dispatch

Pointing to this comment after touring the production facility, Stauber told Ellen and Tom Haglin that it said a lot about themselves and how they value their employees, who are the best assets they have.

One of Stauber’s committee assignments is the Small Business Committee. He said he wanted a waiver to sit on this committee in addition to what his normal two-committee duties would be, as he wanted to help businesses get through the pandemic. He told LINDR that one thing to showcase during their visit was collaboration. Stauber praised McDonald’s and the SBA’s work as a guide in uncertain times. The statewide tour provides the opportunity to listen to businesses, lenders and development officials. Stauber also said they are there to learn about challenges and issues.

“The legislation we’re talking about in the small business community and the changes we’re introducing comes from conversations like this so we can make it easier so you can live that American dream and be an employer for the region,” Stauber said.

McDonald said LINDAR’s 504 lender, Minnesota Business Finance Corp., is the number one lender among all loan programs in the state.

“We come here today because of the tremendous growth in access to capital and financial programs,” McDonald said. “For example, MBFC has increased 30% in terms of loan numbers compared to last year, and last year was a historic year. That’s why we wanted to come here today to kind of announce the news, provide information about the 504 program, and talk to business owners who use this program directly.”

As a result of this 30% increase, McDonald’s said Minnesota Business Finance Corp. has helped create or retain more than 1,000 jobs this fiscal year alone.

“And that’s over 100% from where you were last year, and last year was a historic year,” McDonald said. “So it’s great to have some tools and support through the pandemic to help small businesses and do our part to manage this program.”

Minnesota Business Finance Corp. reported last year that it made 30 loans of $82 million out of a total of 150 loans of $245 million statewide in Minnesota’s District 8.


Julie Anderholm and Anderholm Consulting speak Tuesday, April 12, 2022, during a meeting with Congresswoman Pete Stauber and US Small Business Administration officials at the LINDAR manufacturing at Baxter.

Steve KohlsBrainerd Dispatch

Stauber heard that the increase in regulations is making it harder to do the job. Stauber said they are looking at reducing repetitive regulations, identifying four of them and knowing there are hundreds more. “This is a barrier that doesn’t need to be made for small businesses,” Stauber said.

Haglin said he appreciated the idea of ​​starting and getting rid of unnecessary adjustments. Also, Riverwood Bank, Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Inc. and pointed to the city of Baxter.

“Doing business in this community is very simple. “It might even be harder to cross the river,” said Tom Haglin. “And when you bring these kinds of synergies together, it becomes really, really easy or easier to expand and make that happen.”

Every dollar invested has a multiplier for income and dollars spent in the community to buy locally, employ people and pay taxes, Lund said.

“So every dollar makes a huge difference when it comes to generating revenue,” Lund said. “And again, that revenue is circulating right here, in this community. And thanks to the city of Baxter for helping keep this place here.”

Lund also acted as tour guide as the group went through the production facility to see the work for themselves. “So when you walk through here you get a sense of what’s going on in Baxter in northern Minnesota, it has an impact that goes far beyond.”


Congressman Pete Stauber, left, listens to Steve Lund, LINDAR’s Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, explaining the workings of the manufacturing process Tuesday, April 12, 2022, while Tom Haglin, owner and Minnesota Regional Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Brian McDonald speak. Officials visited the company to highlight the success of the 504 loan program, which highlights access to capital and job growth through local partnerships.

Steve KohlsBrainerd Dispatch

The SBA noted that 504 program loans in Minnesota in fiscal 2021 reached historic $448.8 million in loans to support jobs and economic growth, a 168% increase over fiscal 2020.

The SBA says loans in the 504 program in Minnesota have increased 16% so far in fiscal 2022, compared to historic levels reached in fiscal 2021.

In Minnesota, 504 statistics for fiscal year 2020 include 277 loans of $167.5 million. In fiscal 2020, there were 681 loans for $448.8 million.

Overall, SBA-backed loan programs in Minnesota increased 37.2% overall from fiscal year 2022 compared to fiscal year 2021.

Managing editor Renee Richardson can be reached at 218-855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

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