GREENVILLE, S.C. (May 13, 2015) — Michelin North America Inc.'s Michelin Development subsidiary, which provides business loans to upstart businesses in the U.S. and Canada, has made its 100th loan since starting in 2006.
The company said it recently approved another loan to a small but growing South Carolina transportation company “that now needs one more driver and truck to keep ahead of demand.”
DW&K Services, a transportation company receiving the latest funding, is one of the first benefactors of the Michelin Development Upstate program. The company first became a client in 2010 and, according to Michelin, plans to use the new loan to purchase a new truck and add a driver.
“The money that Michelin first loaned us in 2010 helped us grow our trucking routes from Columbia to the Upstate,” said DW&K founder and CEO DeWayne White. “We just needed someone to give us a chance; we knew we had a good plan but just needed someone to believe in us. Thankfully Michelin did.”
Michelin launched the Michelin Development program in North America in 2006. With the latest loan the company said it is celebrating 100 loans awarded to small businesses and start-ups and the creation of nearly 1,500 jobs in the U.S. and Canada — bringing its total funding contribution thus far to nearly $9 million.
The Greenville-based tire maker said its subsidiary “contributes to the economic regeneration and growth” of the communities where Michelin has facilities by providing low-interest loans to small businesses or start-ups. In addition to financial support, the program also provides business expertise from Michelin's network of professionals. The program originally began in France and was introduced to North America in 2006.
Michelin Development first began in Ontario, Canada, in 2006 — in the wake of its tire plant closure in Kitchener, Ontario — “as a way to provide abiding support and involvement in the region” after the company announced it would no longer produce tires in the Waterloo area. The initial program was there active for three years, during which time more than $3 million was granted for 20 loans that Michelin claimed led to the creation of more than 530 jobs.