When the Carlyle Johnson Machine Company (CJMC) – the Connecticut-based parent company of wholly owned subsidiary Artic Tool & Engineering – decided to embark on an aggressive growth plan through new product offerings and advanced product development programs within Artic Tool, it needed an alternative to the facility in Warwick, RI. The lease in Warwick was expiring in six months, and the company hesitated to renew the lease after the building was significantly damaged in spring 2010 due to its location in a flood zone. Artic Tool also required a larger facility to accommodate the additional personnel and equipment required for their growth plans and financing to acquire and renovate a new building.
The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation stepped in to assist Artic Tool in its new site location search, using the site locator and real estate database within the Greater Rhode Island website. The search returned information on 15 viable commercial properties, including a 16,800-square-foot industrial and commercial building at 29 Lark Industrial Park in Greenville (a portion of Smithfield, RI), which perfectly suited the company’s need to increase product development and manufacturing and generate additional sales revenue.
Once a new location was identified, Artic Tool’s client service advisor at the Commerce Corporation worked with the corporation’s finance team to secure a SBA 504 loan so Artic Tool could purchase the new facility. The loan program provided $250,000 in permanent working capital to finance Artic Tool’s move from the leased facility in Warwick to the purchased facility in Smithfield, including leasehold improvements, moving expenses and incidentals. Without the financing, the company would have been unable to acquire new space and move its machinery to a new location, forcing CJMC to expand Artic Tool in Connecticut.
Artic Tool is designing, manufacturing, and assembling custom clutches, brakes, and power transmission products for a variety of industries in their new Smithfield home. They have a unique product niche in the industrial, aerospace, medical, power generation, oil and military marketplaces with over 20,000 customers nationwide.
The company hosted Governor Gina M. Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor and the Commerce Corporation team when the corporation launched its Business Navigation Center to make it easier for companies to do business in Rhode Island.
CEO Michael Gamache said, “The team at the Commerce Corporation makes it easier to do business in Rhode Island. We needed more space to grow our operations here in Rhode Island, and they helped us find a new facility to do that. They also walked us through the process of obtaining financing to acquire and renovate the building to suit our need. Now we are in a position to increase sales and our workforce.”