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Steelworks Design and BDC: Engineering firm extends its reach


Steelworks Design

After struggling during the 2008 recession, Peterborough, Ontario‑based Steelworks Design had bounced back and was ready to move forward. Through a strong relationship forged with BDC, the engineering firm, which designs and fabricates custom tooling and automation for manufacturers, increased sales by  80% and tripled exports to the U.S.

BDC provided two working capital loans with beneficial terms, including deferred capital payments, which enabled Steelworks to expand its market and invest in increasing export sales. BDC’s consulting experts then worked with owners Rhonda and Donald Barnet to provide a turnkey solution to meet health and safety regulatory requirements, guidance on implementing an ISO 9001:2008 quality program, as well as market positioning advice and sales training. With this support, the company strengthened its brand and boosted sales further.

If Rhonda Barnet could give one piece of advice to entrepreneurs who want to take their business to the next level it would be to seek out good‑quality, independent advice. Says Barnet, “Having someone there to help you make the decisions and support the decisions helps you to grow into a bigger vision and mission for your company.”

Barnet sees BDC as the organization that has had the greatest impact on her business. “BDC is so much more than a bank. The staff understands entrepreneurs and supports them in building sustainable and profitable businesses in Canada and abroad.”