Congressman John Moolenaar, R-Midland, recently toured a variety of small businesses in Gratiot County.
Ashton Bortz, district director, Tom Smith, constituent relations representative, and Don Schurr, president of Greater Gratiot Development, also attended the tours.
Most businesses in the manufacturing sector are considered a small business if they have 500 employees or less. Schurr noted, “Almost all manufacturers in Gratiot County are considered small businesses. This shows how critical small businesses are in all areas of the Gratiot economy.”
Moolenaar started his day with a tour of PADNOS Central Michigan, located in Alma, where he learned about recycling paper, plastics, metal and other materials.
The next stop was at Avalon & Tahoe Mfg., a pontoon boat manufacturer in Alma.
President and CEO Jim Wolf took Moolenaar on a tour of the facility to see how a pontoon boat is made from start to finish.
Avalon is one of the larger employers in Alma with 215 full-time equivalent positions.
Moolenaar then traveled to Ithaca for a lunch at The Hearthstone Oven where he discussed small business practices with Merlin Gable, manager. Next was a tour of Cartridges Are Us (a division of Clover Technologies Group), a recycler and remanufacturer of inkjet cartridges.
President Steve Iocco and Vice President Angie Iocco took Moolenaar on a tour of the packaging facility located in the South Ithaca Industrial Park. Clover Technologies also has a production facility located on Union St. in Ithaca, and a warehouse in the Alma Industrial Park.
In total, the company has 300 full-time equivalent positions.
This article was originally posted on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, 6:30 am by the Midland Daily News