by Joni Astrup
A thriving Elk River company has exceeded its job creation goals that were set as part of a loan from the city of Elk River.
Sportech received a $500,000 loan from the city in 2008 to help build the company’s headquarters and manufacturing facility at 10800 175th Ave. in the Northstar Business Park.
As part of the deal, Sportech was to retain 64 full-time jobs and create 25 new full-time jobs at a wage of at least $12 an hour within two years of occupancy.
By October 2010, Sportech had added 14 full-time employees and received a one-year extension to meet the job goals.
As of October 2011, Sportech had created 33 full-time jobs, bringing the number of full-time employees to 97 and exceeding the job creation goals, according to Elk River Director of Economic Development Annie Deckert. The company currently has 102 full-time employees.
The money for the Sportech loan came from a $500,000 grant the city received from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Minnesota Investment Fund program. The city gets to keep the $500,000 repaid by Sportech. It will use the money as a revolving loan fund for future economic development purposes, according to Deckert. The loan is scheduled to be paid off in 2013.
Since the job creation goals have been met, the Elk River City Council held a public hearing Jan. 17 to close out the state grant.
Chris Carlson, president and owner of Sportech, told the City Council said he’s always felt like Sportech has had a partner with the city of Elk River and appreciates that.
“Business continues to boom,” Carlson said. “We had our biggest year ever last year. We grew the business by 77 percent in 2011. We are expanding and buying equipment. It’s very, very good.”
Mayor John Dietz told Carlson that the city appreciates all that he and Sportech do for the community.
•Founded in 1994, Sportech is an original equipment manufacturer of thermoformed plastic products.
•The company designs and manufactures parts for a variety of motorsports vehicles including snowmobiles, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.
•The company has received a number of awards including being named one of the 100 most influential companies in the powersports industry by Ehlert Powersports Business magazine.
•Sportech has been awarded two patents related to ATV and motorcycle windshields and has multiple patents pending.
Source: City of Elk River