Updated March 30 at 10:33am

SBLF money keeps sign maker in state


NORTH SMITHFIELD – Safety sign manufacturer National Marker Co. has secured a $250,000 loan from the Rhode Island Small Business Loan Fund that the company says will allow it to remain in the state.

The loan is the first made by the Small Business Loan Fund from its share of a $13.1 million federal business development grant to Rhode Island.

In total, the SBLF will receive $2.1 million of the total federal State Small Business Credit Initiative award, with $9 million going to the Slater Technology Fund and $2 million to start-up incubator Betaspring.

The $250,000 loan to National Marker will help finance purchase the acquisition of the company by long-time President Michael Black, NMC Director of Marketing Lisa Burns said Thursday.

Black intends to keep the company, founded in Pawtucket in 1934, in North Smithfield.

Burns said many the other interested bidders in the company were out of state competitors who would have likely moved or consolidated National Marker’s operations.

National Marker employs 58 people at its North Smithfield manufacturing plant.


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