Countless Americans feel caught in the clutches of large corporations, but have dreams of building their own businesses. As partners Joe Forbes, Chad Hill, and Mike Baker assessed the landscape, the lack of efficiency, concerns over staff safety, and limited technical resources available in large organizations began to wear on them. In 2008, they put their experience and networks to work and founded Versatech with a vision to offer value-added services and engineering solutions to industrial manufacturing companies.
Having narrowly navigated the economic downturn that worsened around the time of their launch, Versatech needed a long-term financial partner to help them stabilize the company and lay a foundation for fulfilling the vision. Even with a strong underlying business plan, unwavering community support, and loyal employees, traditional banks just weren’t lending.
“Whenever you’re in a difficult financial situation, banks typically don’t want to work with you. They only want to work with you whenever you don’t need them.”
Following a fortuitous introduction, North Avenue Capital’s Commercial Lender, Drew Louis, quickly recognized the drive, commitment, and experience these men brought to Versatech. Drew recalls,
“Rural businesses are frequently playing from behind right out of the gate. NAC saw something special in Versatech and it didn’t take long to realize that a USDA Business & Industry loan was precisely the solution they needed.”
Today, Versatech employs over 100 men and women, serving auto industry leaders like Ford, BMW, Land Rover, and Mercedes-Benz and heavy-machinery manufacturers including John Deere, CAT, Hitachi, and GE. Mike stated,
“Diversification among the industries we support is vital to providing world-class service for our customers and stability for our valuable employees.”
When asked about the timing and significance of NAC’s partnership, Joe added,
“Without the USDA loan and NAC’s help, we probably wouldn’t be here as a company, so all of the people out in the shop wouldn’t have jobs. For us, the impact has been life-changing.”