Michigan Small Business Persons of the Year Announced
Detroit: Noel Cuellar and Ethan Barde, President & CEO and Vice President respectively of Primera Plastics, Inc. in Zeeland have been named the 2007 Michigan Small Business Persons of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Primera Plastics, a minority-owned precision plastics injection molding company that started in 1994 has grown from Cuellar and Barde running two machines in a pole barn, to one that today has 30 presses and over 140 employees in a modern facility. The company primarily serves the automotive and office furniture industries, and exports to customers in Canada, Germany, Japan, and México.
“Noel Cuellar and Ethan Barde exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit that continues to thrive in Michigan and will lead our economic recovery,” said Richard Temkin, SBA District Director. “Primera Plastics is also an outstanding example of a company that has used SBA’s programs to achieve great success. I am proud to announce that they are this year’s winner of the Michigan Small Business Persons of the Year award.”
The company started with the assistance of SBA’s 504 loan program, which helps entrepreneurs finance the acquisition of fixed assets by providing long term fixed rate financing at favorable interest rates. The Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center has also worked with the company for many years, and it is now providing intensive strategic counseling to ensure its continued growth.
Primera Plastics was named the 2005 “Business of the Year” by the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Edward Lowe Foundation’s “50 Companies to Watch” in 2006. The company also supports its employees by providing tuition reimbursement for continuing their education in their respected field. Cuellar himself volunteers his time to mentoring at-risk middle school children in Holland as part of H.E.L.P. (Hispanic Educators, Leaders & Professionals).
Cuellar and Barde will receive their awards during the third annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards dinner at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing on April 12, 2007. For more information on this event, please go to www.michigancelebrates.biz.