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Craft-Bilt Materials Ltd. and BDC: Making property ownership a reality


Craft-Bilt Materials Ltd.

When the owners of Craft‑Bilt decided it was time to buy new premises, they hadn’t bargained on a recession. The company, founded in 1992 to supply contractors and homeowners with sunrooms, railings, decking, patio covers and retractable shade products, had leased space in Markham, Ontario for 17 years. They were ready to purchase property and make the move to Ajax, Ontario.

As their building was about to be completed, Craft‑Bilt’s owners were faced with a stressful situation. Given the faltering economy, the lender they had lined up made changes to the original terms that were too burdensome for them. They were forced to hunt for a new lender.

They approached BDC and were able to obtain the financing they needed to complete the project. The flexible loan suited their requirements and provided a principal payment postponement of three months. The company’s cash flow was further protected thanks to BDC’s unique seasonal repayment option, making for a payment schedule better suited to the seasonal nature of the business.

Craft‑Bilt also benefited from BDC’s human resources advisory services. The owners were helped in managing employee engagement as well as compliance issues and in ensuring worker safety policies and documented procedures are in place. Important lessons learned from BDC’s HR program also helped increase employee morale.

General Manager Bart Bremmers values Craft‑Bilt’s relationship with the BDC team. “They are genuinely interested in the success of our business,” he says. “They are flexible regarding financing and continue to offer us useful advice.”