MCDC – Cadillac Culvert Doing Good Things For Michigan


For nearly 50 years Cadillac Culvert, Inc. (formally Premarc) has been a fixture in the Cadillac area. Cadillac Culvert. is a manufacturer of underground drainage products and specializes in metal fabrication. Both Don Aldrich and Chuck Thomas had been working for Premarc for 35 years when the company filed for bankruptcy. They immediately knew they wanted to pull together and save it.

Chuck describes the current situation today, “We are Doing Good Things for Michigan in many different ways. We’re saving seven jobs, including Chuck and myself, as well as partnering with other companies in the area to help northern Michigan businesses”.

MCDC has lenders located around the state to discuss any type of project to determine eligibility and help business owners get started. “When we first started out with the process of buying the company, we didn’t know which direction to go. We were basically told that the company was going to go bankrupt and our limited options were: to sell the plant; sell it to somebody else; or close it” Don explained. “Chuck and I have been here a long time and love the Cadillac area. We wanted to see what the responsible options were for both of us to become owners”.

Anytime an overhaul of a business is due for change, business owners don’t know where to start. Chuck remembered that day and recalled, “The paperwork was very overwhelming so I called Darlene Merritt and told her what we were trying to do and she came over the very same day”.

Darlene Merritt, a Loan Officer for MCDC explained, “When Peter Stalker, Community Bank President of Firstbank started to look at this project, the prior company had gone bankrupt. Don and Chuck had a lot of experience in managing the company and sales and production, but needed assistance in understanding the terms of the purchase”.

As MCDC partners with economic development organizations around the state, Chuck added “MCDC was recommended to us by the MI-SBTDC and since Darlene was our local representative we started with her. We began looking at what programs we could fit into”.

Darlene added, “The SBA 504 Loan Program gave Don and Chuck a long-term fixed rate on their mortgage so now they don’t have to worry about a balloon payment or increasing interest rates”. She further added, “Firstbank also utilized MCDC’s SBA 7(a) Loan Packaging Service to secure a working capital line of credit for Cadillac Culvert. This allowed the Firstbank to provide working capital to them so they could produce their product and purchase inventory”. Kevin Meyer, Senior Loan Officer at MCDC manages the 7(a) Packaging Service added, “The SBA Working Capital CAPline was a great fit for this project. It gave Cadillac Culvert the short-term financing necessary to support their working capital needs as the business ramped up operations under the new ownership of Don and Chuck.”

Chuck said, “MCDC helped us with the paperwork, made it an easy process, and helped us all along the way. We didn’t have to deal with it ourselves. We knew we were in this as a team – and that’s what made this system work for us.” Peter Stalker, Community Bank President of Firstbank who was the lending partner for this amazing transaction said, “It was a pleasure working with the MCDC to put together a financing package that meets the needs of Cadillac Culvert, Inc. Darlene Merritt and Kevin Meyer knew the programs that were available exceptionally well and worked diligently with us to complete this loan in a very timely manner.”

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