Brenda and Dewayne Gass started D & B Custom Powder Coating & Hydrographics, Inc. in 2006 to meet the growing demand for protective and decorative finishes to parts needed by manufacturers in southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Six years on they are ready to take another big step, doubling capacity, adding a new technology and hiring more workers.
When they started the company Southeast Tennessee Development District provided a small loan to finance the purchase of equipment and they leased a small building in the Dade County Industrial Park. Early success already made it possible for them to purchase their building and repay the start-up loan in full.
USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode, Georgia assistant to the State Director Donnie D. Thomas and other local officials announced a $150,000 federally funded low interest business loan to finance expansion of their facility and to upgrade and purchase additional equipment. The announcement was made at the D & B home office in Trenton.
"Small family businesses are the economic engine of every community, creating jobs and a healthy, diverse local economy," said Mr. Goode. "The Chattanooga region is fortunate to have an organization like Southeast Tennessee Development District capable of managing this and other federally funded revolving loan funds."
"Together we provide needed capital for the start-up and expansion of small business when the private sector can't," said Mr. Goode.
D & B is also investing an additional $50,000 in equity to complete the funding for the improvements. The expansion provides room needed to add sand-blasting capabilities and hydrographic printing, two processes in demand by many parts suppliers and manufactures. Hydrographics, also known as immersion printing or water transfer printing, is a method of applying printed designs to three-dimensional objects made of metal, plastic, glass, hardwoods, and other materials.
The improvements make it possible for D&B to expand available services and fulfill larger orders for companies in the region and abroad. As orders increase the company anticipates adding five to eight additional workers over time.
Others participating in the event included Dade County Executive Ted Rumley, Dade County Commissioner Robert Goff, Dade county Sheriff Ray Cross, SETDD ED Director Kathy Johnson, SETDD Project Manager Audra Kelly, SEIDA Project Manager Stephanie Watkins, Northwest Georgia JDA Project Manager Keith Barcliff, Georgia Department of Labor representatives Kathy Tooles and Vickie Thomas, Dade County Chamber representative Debbie Tinker, RD Area Director David Collett and Area Specialist Alisa Farmer.
SETDD/Chattanooga Area Regional Council of Governments is a multi-state economic development agency made up of municipal and county governments in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia. For information on small business development loans and other services in the area, contact SETDD at 266-5781 or online at www.sedev.org.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health of rural communities. During the last four years the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.3 billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration - the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $700 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible, officials said.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in southeast Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Chattanooga at 756-2239 ext. 2, toll free at 800.342-3149 extension 1492, or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.