Almont business awarded a
$150,000 grant to retool
ALMONT — Almont-based Trims Unlimited is one of 12 Michigan small businesses to be provided funds from Pure Michigan Business Connect to retool operations during the COVID-19 emergency.
The beneficiaries of the total $1 million grant program were announced Wednesday, April 15 by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).
Per the terms of the grant announcement, Trims Unlimited, 3863 Van Dyke (M-53), will be the recipient of $150,000 to accommodate the production of thousands of personal protection equipment (PPE) masks.
Established in the early 1980s, the privately-owned, cut-and-sew business has traditionally manufactured and supplied products for the auto industry.
This week, Trim Unlimited co-owners, George Mansour and Bill Welch, shifted their process to begin producing 280,000 pleated masks for McLaren Health Care systems (250,000) and the Clorox Corporation (30,000).
Mansour acknowledged the support of MEDC and the efforts of Lapeer Development Corporation Director, Quentin Bishop, who assisted with the grant application process.
As a result of receiving the grant funding, Mansour said the company has been able to return about 20 laid-off workers, bringing the total number of employees back to its pre-virus level of 32.
“We’re now ramping up from one to three shifts, and we should be operating at full-tilt by next week,” said Mansour. “This (funding) has truly kept us going.”
Mansour said he and Welch are proud of their employees and in the quality of products the small business has consistently produced over the years.
“Our company motto is that ‘we are people helping people,’” he said. “Everybody who works here truly cares about the job they do and in the people we help.”
Speaking of people helping people, Mansour credited B&M Sonics of Columbiaville for setting up the ultrasonic machinery required to make the masks.
“They set it up
in under two weeks, which allowed us to start manufacturing the masks so quickly,” Mansour said. “We are truly blessed to have business during this time of crisis.”
While the longterm impact of the virus on the business is unknown, Mansour remains optimistic and hopeful.
“We think this will keep us busy for at least the next two months,” Mansour said. “After that, we’re hoping to be able to return to our automotive product line.”
For further information about Trims Unlimited, LLC call 810-724-3500 or visit www.trimsllc.com
Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.