2013-09-12 / News

mBank aids expansion

Helicopter corporation receives capital

MANISTIQUE – mBank, the principal subsidiary of Mackinac Financial Corporation and a driver for business growth in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, has recently provided Enstrom Helicopter Corporation the capital needed to expand its Menominee, Mich. manufacturing facility.

Enstrom’s expansion, which broke ground in May, will double the current size of its facility – adding more than 77,000 square feet. The added space will allow for increased production as well as continued hiring. The company has already added 120 new employees within the past three years.

Plans are now underway to add 200 additional employees following the completion of the project. The increased tax base for Enstrom payroll is expected to reach over $10 million in the coming years.

According to Enstrom management, this could have a domino effect on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the Northern Wisconsin economy.

“This expansion is the largest in Enstrom’s 54-year history. It allows us to increase production rates and employment in the area while improving our product line and developing new products,” said Jerry Mullins, president and CEO, Enstrom Helicopter Corporation.

“This needed boost allows Enstrom to continue to compete in the world market with safe, quality products at an affordable price. Rudy Enstrom would be extremely proud of this dream come true in the UP.”

When approached for funding, the staff at mBank immediately recognized Enstrom’s passion for flight and commitment to quality, safety and value. In addition, the organization’s long-standing history in the community and ability to add jobs made it a viable candidate for capital, when other funding sources were unable to deliver on financing promises. In cooperation with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, mBank prepared a loan package totaling $5M – $2.55M from mBank and $2.45M from MEDC – to enable Enstrom to move forward with its expansion and renovation plans.

“We sincerely thank the people of Enstrom for having the confidence and trust in our bank to assist with their financial needs to augment their current facilities for future growth”, said Kelly W. George, mBank president and CEO. “Company-wide we are committed to helping grow local businesses like Enstrom, so they can continue on the path to success. The efforts that all parties involved put forth in partnership with the MEDC, to provide capital for this expansion, is an investment that will positively impact our community in terms of creating new sustainable good jobs in our State.”

When completed, the expansion will help make Enstrom Helicopter more efficient in the manufacturing and assembly of the helicopters. Enstrom has 32 helicopters planned by the end of 2013 with gross annual sales projected to top $36 million. There are 45 helicopters planned for 2014 and the new facility will allow production to increase to 100 per year within the next few years. Moyle Construction out of Houghton, Mich., is the designbuilder for the project.

Founded in 1959, Enstrom Helicopter Corporation manufactures a complete line of helicopters. The three-seat, pistonpowered F28F and 280FX are popular training, sport and light commercial aircraft. The larger turbine-powered 480B is available as a three-place advanced trainer and patrol aircraft, a 2+2 four-seat training helicopter, or as a three- to five-place executive transport. For law enforcement applications, Enstrom produces an optionally equipped variant of the 480B, known as the Guardian, and the F28F, called the Sentinel. For more information on Enstrom, visit www.enstromhelicopter.com.

Headquartered in Manistique, mBank is the principal subsidiary of Mackinac Financial Corporation whose common stock is traded on the NASDAQ stock market as “MFNC.”

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