Richey Athletics, a manufacturer of track and field equipment in Frankfort (Clinton County), has relocated to a once-vacant building in the Frankfort Industrial Park.
The company bought and remodeled a 70,400 square-foot building next to the airport along State Road 28 on Frankfort’s west side. The newly acquired building more than doubles manufacturing space compared to Richey’s former buildings in Frankfort. It brings all of Richey Athletics’ manufacturing and distribution – and its 26 employees – under one roof and will allow room for expansion.
Richey Athletics is owned by brothers Stephen, Michael and David Griffy. They succeeded their grandfather in 2007. He started the company in Michigantown (eight miles northeast of Frankfort) in 1962. The company manufactures high jump and pole vault standards and pits and related equipment used by colleges and high schools across the nation.
The Griffys obtained financing from the U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loan program to buy their new building. The Farmers Bank and Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corporation provided the loan. Indiana Statewide CDC works with local Indiana lenders to issue SBA 504 loans to help owners of expanding or startup small businesses buy real estate, buildings and equipment. SBA 504 loans can give small business owners long-term, fixed rate financing similar to commercial loan terms available for large companies.
Drew Cripe of The Farmers Bank says, “This SBA 504 loan helps Richey Athletics maintain more working capital – rather than apply it to a down payment – that will be needed while expanding. It also helps a home-grown business fill a vacant building in a visible corridor of our community.”
Michael Griffy says, “This loan requires a smaller down payment and a long-term, fixed repayment rate; both features unavailable in a regular commercial loan. By preserving operating capital, we made this leap sooner than we would have otherwise been able to.”
Operating a national company from their hometown is important to the company’s owners. Griffy says, “Our philosophy is to make a few products, head-and-shoulders above the rest of the industry. This is a custom company. We weld all the steel, cut all the fabric, glue all the foam, and arrive on-scene to help set up Richey equipment. And we provide a 13-year guarantee.”
The Griffys call themselves “track guys.” All three participated in track and field at Clinton Central High School and two competed on college varsity teams.
Indiana Statewide CDC (www.cambridgecapitalmgmt.com) has approved more than $690 million of financing for 1,500 Indiana companies since 1983, creating or saving more than 26,595 jobs, and is the most prolific CDC in Indiana. These projects represent more than $1.7 billion in expansion financing for Indiana businesses.
Executive Director Jean Wojtowicz says, “SBA 504 loans help small businesses grow because borrowing companies can put as little as 10 percent down and receive a low, fixed interest rate for as long as 25 years. The SBA guarantees bonds sold privately to finance a portion of the loan. With the guarantee, we can offer more favorable loan rates than generally available to small businesses.”
The Farmers Bank (www.thefarmersbank.com) is a $550 million asset organization chartered in 1876 with headquarters in Frankfort. The Farmers Bank is locally owned and operated with 10 banking offices located in Central Indiana providing retail, business, trust & asset management, investment, mortgage, and electronic banking services.
Richey Athletics (www.richeyathletics.com) manufactures and distributes track and field equipment such as pole vault poles, high jump and pole vault pits and standards and hurdles. Richey Athletics was founded in Michigantown in 1962 by the grandfather of the current owners. Among schools with Richey Athletics equipment; Notre Dame, University of Wisconsin, University of Chicago, Ohio University, Rutgers University in New Jersey, College of William & Mary in Virginia, and Point Loma Nazarene University in California.