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Regions Economic Development: Horizon Shipbuilding

Largest single contract proves a clear sign it’s time to expand for Bayou La Batre company.

JUNE 24, 2014 - Horizon Shipbuilding was founded in 1997 by a father-son team who turned their passion and skill into a thriving company.

Today, from its headquarters in Bayou La Batre, Ala., Horizon designs, builds and repairs ships, boats and barges for customers around the world. Government clients include the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Army Corps.

“We were awarded the largest single contract in our history last year,” said Travis Short, Horizon’s president and general manager. “That made it clear it was time to expand.”

Horizon turned to Regions to help finance the expansion with capital from the Regions Economic Development Loan Pool. The expansion is resulting in 127 new jobs.

Upon establishing the loan pool in February of last year, Regions earmarked $1 billion to provide economic development capital and support job growth in the state of Alabama in 2013. In September, Regions exceeded its billion-dollar commitment. Preliminary estimates show loan pool activity topped $1.3 billion by the end of the year. Based on initial data provided by participants, loan pool financing is supporting approximately 2,000 new jobs in addition to existing jobs at more than 350 companies and entities throughout the state.

“Regions Bank had been advising me on potential lending opportunities and helped me put it all together,” Short said. “We purchased the best available property and refurbished the dormant shipyard across the bayou from our present facility. Regions facilitated the loan and made it possible for Horizon to begin construction in less than 60 days.”

The expansion is helping Horizon grow its marketability for larger vessels and more projects in the future.
“Travis Short is a great entrepreneur,” said Stephen Schlautman, the Regions business banker who managed the loan. “I work with entrepreneurs every day, and helping them achieve their goals is my no. 1 job description.

“It was a great crossroads of opportunity for the bank and Horizon. They had an opportunity to expand and we had the capital to provide them expansion. This transaction actually tripled their capacity, giving Travis years of growth opportunity in his business.”

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