Lebanon Mayor Matt Gentry (left) talks with Shark-Co Manufacturing owner Jason Sharkey (right) at the company’s new facility in Lebanon.

Lebanon, Ind.Shark-Co Manufacturing, maker of custom foam tool organizers, is expanding their operations in Lebanon with help from the Boone County Economic Development Corporation (Boone EDC) Microloan Program.

Owners Jason and Monica Sharkey received a microloan from the Boone EDC to purchase additional manufacturing equipment and make necessary improvements to their new location in Lebanon.

“The Boone EDC Microloan Program serves as a resource for small businesses in Boone County by providing a convenient start-up option for small business owners seeking funding for specific projects,” said Boone EDC Executive Director Molly Whitehead. “This year alone, three Boone County businesses have received funds from the program to help their businesses grow.”

The Sharkeys are Lebanon residents who started Shark-Co less than a year ago in their garage after Jason sold his car collection for start-up money.

“We are focused on making Lebanon the best place to start and grow a business,” said Lebanon Mayor Matt Gentry. “We look forward to having more businesses like Shark-Co start and succeed here in Lebanon.”

Shark-Co services several major customers such as Indy Car, Porsche of North America and Southern California Fire Department. Their local customers include the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

Shark-Co owners Jason and Monica Sharkey celebrate the opening of their new manufacturing facility in Lebanon with their eight-year-old daughter. They are joined by Boone EDC Executive Director Molly Whitehead, Deputy Director Ben Worrell and Lebanon Mayor Matt Gentry.

“We are dedicated to helping our customers keep everything in its place and accounted for,” said Jason Sharkey. “With the help of the Boone EDC microloan program, we have been able to expand our manufacturing operations and better serve our customers.”

Jason first connected with the Boone EDC when he was looking for properties in Lebanon. He met with Boone EDC Deputy Director Ben Worrell to discuss his needs and showcase the product. Together, they worked to make the appropriate phone calls, meetings and connections to secure the former Electrochemical Building on Indianapolis Avenue. Jason has continued to connect with the Boone EDC on business needs, including the application and receipt of a microloan for $15,000.

“We have received an amazing amount of assistance at every level,” said Sharkey. “Everyone from the county to the City of Lebanon to other local businesses has been so supportive and encouraging along the way. We truly could not have gotten to where we are without all the great partners we have met along the way. Even our eight-year-old daughter has helped us get up and running by sweeping floors and picking up trash around the office. It is truly a family operation.”

“When I heard about the clients that Jason was working with and got to hear his story, I knew he had discovered something special and that he would take Shark-Co to the highest of levels,” said Worrell. “I wanted to make sure that our community was responsive to his needs so that he could succeed right here in Boone County. Jason, Monica and their team have worked so hard to make this a reality and I am proud to work with them now and as they continue to grow.”

About the Boone County Economic Development Corporation

The Boone EDC leads economic development efforts in Boone County by cultivating business, workforce and quality of life initiatives. The Boone EDC works alongside elected officials, business leaders and consultants to advance Boone County’s economic development goals locally, nationally and internationally. For more information, visit www.betterinboone.org.