A longtime Glenburn business has a new owner and is looking to expand.
Minot’s MAGIC fund selection committee on Friday approved an interest buyback of $ 128,571 to match a $ 300,000 interest buyback from the Bank of North Dakota on a state PACE loan for Stevens Welding and Machine.
Steve Farden bought the assets of the welding and manufacturing business last May from a bankrupt former owner and has seven employees working in the shop.
Farden, who also runs the longtime company, Farden Construction, told the committee he believes it is important to keep jobs and avoid a large empty building in the small town.
“So we decided – my brother and I – that we would take the risk of making the purchase. “ he said. “I am very involved in the community of Glenburn. My kids all go to school there, and I’ve been with the Stevens family, working in and out of this store, all my life. So I couldn’t not try to do it.
Farden aspires to grow the business to 15 employees by the end of 2022 and 25 employees by the end of 2023. The massive building would still have room to expand the business, which at one time numbered 30 to 50 employees, according to shared memories. during a meeting.
Farden said the business originally flourished with the support of Canadian customers. He would love to see some of that sponsorship return, but also sees potential with local industry.
“We want to get back to the maintenance and repair of drilling rigs in the oil fields. This is mainly why the store was built ”, he said, adding that serving farmers also remains an important part of the business. “We’re on the same business plane that my friend, Lynn Stevens, ran, in his day.”
Roy Stevens founded Stevens Welding in Glenburn after WWII. In 1985, his sons, Lynn and Rodney, began operating the business. Lynn Stevens became sole proprietor after her brother retired in the early 1990s.
In 2008, DoAll Industries USA purchased and renamed the company. Bankruptcy proceedings against the Alberta, Canada-based company began in 2014. Farden restored the Stevens name to the company with its purchase in May.
According to the company’s history, the common goal of all owners has been to be an industry leader using advanced technology for hydraulic, fabrication, welding and repair services. This included the acquisition of various equipment to create parts and supplies to repair oilfields and agricultural components, build new drilling rigs, create customer-specific parts for their manufacturing needs, and maintain a service department. complete hydraulic repair.
John MacMartin, president of the Minot Region Chamber of Commerce, EDC, said MAGIC Fund support for businesses in small communities in the region is important to maintaining Minot as a commercial center. In this case, it is job retention, he said.
“That was what was most important to us when we looked at it” MacMartin said. “It’s saving the jobs that interest us. “
The selection committee’s recommendation for approval is now submitted to Minot City Council for review.
Friday’s action was the first for the selection committee since recommending approval of a grant to the Minot State University Foundation in September 2020 to purchase a Trinity Health building for a health center. vocational and technical education. This purchase was finalized on October 15, 2021.