Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Loans $800,000 in ESOP Transaction

May 25, 2017 | Timothy L. Stewart

Artisans, Inc., which is a leading brand in upscale sportswear and is located in Glen Flora, Wisconsin, received financing of $800,000 from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) as part of the sale of the company to an ESOP.

The WEDC is a public-private corporation created in 2011 to help foster economic development in Wisconsin.

As a contingency on the financing, Artisans had to commit to keeping 72 full-time jobs in Glen Flora through 2022 and to create up to 11 new full-time jobs by 2020.

The $800,000 loan was not enough to fully finance the transaction – Artisans’ (former) owners Gordon and Bev Dukerschein finance the remaining piece.

The CEO and Chairman of the Company, Michael Wright, laid out the reasons why this was something that the WEDC found to be important:

“Without WEDC’s loan, Rusk County was facing the potential risk of losing a major employer. ESOPs are one of the few structures that allow employees, especially in rural ares, to participate fully in the generation of wealth that sustain communities.”

This is a good example of an ESOP being utilized to create a sustainable future for an important employer in a community, and its employees. The full article can be found here.