Mariann Dickman, owner and president of Advance Nitriding Solutions, 1688 Lammers Pike, asked the Batesville Economic Development Commission in February to get behind her application for a $1 million Lawrenceburg Regional Economic Development Grant. On April 18, members asked for more information.
BEDC President Andy Saner explained, “Lawrenceburg has recently changed the process by which a grant request can be approved through them .... The grant must receive a sponsoring entity prior to being considered (typically governmental units). This comes as a result of grants that have been awarded, but did not meet requirements of the grant request, ultimately resulting in loss of grant dollars by Lawrenceburg.”
According to Dickman’s proposal, the total project is $2.39 million – $2.2 million to purchase equipment, $90,000 for packing and shipping and $100,000 for installation and training. It also includes adding employees.
Dickman said, “I have a bank that will give me a loan, and I’ll sign the paperwork after I know what the grant is for.”
Currently, “our guys are working seven days a week .... We just put an ad in the paper to hire more people, and if we get the grant approval, we’ll hire five in the first week.
“In 2012, we did $2 million in sales. In 2013, we did $1.6 million. Sales have been increasing since then .... This will be a really good year for us, and when we get the new equipment, we can do even more.”
BEDC member Gene Lambert pointed out he was hesitant to approve the grant because he still had some questions for Lawrenceburg officials about the city’s liability. “If you only hire half the people, does that mean we have to pay the grant back in full?”
Saner also had some concerns, including the owner taking large distributions (payouts over $1 million) each year instead of re-investing that money into the company. “ANS received a grant previously from Lawrenceburg and did not ultimately meet the requirements of the grant. Additionally, as part of the (current) review process, the financial information provided was reviewed by the Indiana Small Business Development Center and several financial risks were highlighted regarding the sales, revenues and retained earnings.