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Two businesses in Southeast Michigan are investing more than $13 million in expansion projects, the state's economic development arm said Thursday.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. approved a $1 million performance-based grant to Fraser-based medical devices manufacturer Healthmark Industries Inc. and a $500,000 grant to Pittsfield Township's Location Services LLC, which provides repossession services to the automotive finance industry. The projects are expected to create 245 new jobs.

Ralph Basile, Healthmark vice president of marketing and regulatory affairs, said he expects the company to complete its $12 million, three-year expansion of its global headquarters in the Fraser Industrial Park at 34260 Pompo Drive.

The family business has grown from a garage venture in 1969 to more than 200 employees and recently introduced a new line of sterilization products for surgery and medical equipment called Proformance.

Healthmark is making that brand line at its new headquarters, which has doubled in size to about 150,000 square feet, with more manufacturing, warehouse and office space. Additionally, Healthmark recently acquired a building south of that site and plans to expand it to another 50,000 square feet in 2020 for new products it is bringing to market.

Basile said the project is creating 139 new jobs. The company is looking for chemists, microbiologists, biologists, engineers and those with other technical and robotics skills. It also is hiring those in financial services, accounting, inventory and logistics.

"We’re investing a tremendous amount into existing technology and new technology related to the proper reprocessing of medical devices and surgical equipment," Basile said. "We're expanding our ability to support a growing market and bring new innovative products that further our efforts to bring safe and clean surgical instruments to the patient."

Basile said the company chose to expand its site in Michigan over investing in Arizona, Florida and Washington, D.C. Mayor Michael Carnagie said the city of Fraser also granted the company a 12-year tax abatement.

"They have proven they are committed to Fraser," Carnagie said. "It’s nice to have a company that does what they say and says what they do. It's a privilege to keep them in our city, knowing that they are going to bring a lot of well-paying jobs."

Repossession services provider Location Services worked with Ann Arbor SPARK, a business incubator, to obtain the MEDC performance-based grant to help it stay in Michigan over California and Minnesota. The firm is investing $1 million into an expansion that would create 106 jobs in operations, finance, compliance and information technology.

Several partnerships have fueled Locations Services' growth. Earlier this month, the company made a distribution deal with Allied Solutions, an Indiana insurer. It also recently acquired car finance company Auto Approve, risk management provider MOXKOR and three repossession agencies.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

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