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ASV opening distribution center in Grand Rapids

A worker at ASV Inc in Grand Rapids gets a machine ready to run after its assembly. (News Tribune file photo)

ASV is investing $686,000 in a distribution center in Grand Rapids that is expected to create 13 jobs, with state loans covering more than half the cost of the investment.

The rubber-tracked vehicle manufacturer is moving its parts distribution from a third-party vendor in Mississippi to "more effectively manage aftermarket parts distribution to its dealers and reduce operating costs," according to a news release from the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

"This investment will allow ASV to streamline operations and improve customer service by moving its parts distribution in-house in Grand Rapids," DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy said in the release Wednesday. "This is a significant move that will keep the company a leader in the compact construction equipment market."

ASV, which competes with companies like Bobcat and Caterpillar, already employs more than 150 people in Grand Rapids. The distribution center jobs to be located at a leased warehouse in Grand Rapids are expected to pay an average of $20.25 an hour plus benefits.

DEED is loaning the company $125,000, of which $50,000 could be forgiven, while the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board is offering a $300,000 loan toward the project.

ASV reported a $0.5 million quarterly profit on $30.6 million in sales between July and September. The 34-year-old company went public earlier this year and on Wednesday closed trading at $10.15 per share. Shares were initially offered at $7 in May.

Brooks Johnson

Brooks is an investigative reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.

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