Capone Iron Works Inc.: Coming All The Way Back

December 2009

During the 1980s, business was booming for Capone Iron Works Inc. The company, started in 1951 by Charles A. Capone, Sr., in a garage in Winthrop, was fabricating and installing structural steel and miscellaneous metals for the private and public sectors. Charles’ sons Stephen and Gary came on board full-time in the early 1980s, acting primarily as field foremen.

For the better part of the next 10 years, the two brothers “evolved with the business,” Stephen says, learning every aspect of the company, from welding and fitting to sales. In the late 1980s, with the industry hedging toward a substantial downturn, Capone Iron Works became a victim of the economic conditions. In 1991, the company was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The family voted to dissolve the firm. “As we were leaving the meeting, my father pulled me aside and told me not to let the company go,” Stephen recalls.

Working with just four people out of two adjoining trailers—the new “corporate offices”—Stephen and Gary sold off all the assets they could and began bootstrapping the new Capone Iron Corporation. By 1999, they’d achieved enough success to purchase a nine-acre property in Rowley, financing and building a 50,000-square-foot manufacturing and administrative facility. At it’s height in the 1980s, the company had about 18 employees. Today, there are 43 full-timers and annual growth has been about 20% to 25% during the past five years.

Capone Iron Corporation is clearly back from the brink. “There was no magic to it,” observes Stephen. “We took any job we could get. I remember having doors slammed in my face by prospects and creditors. There were days when we’d go from unloading steel to throwing on suits for business meetings and then changing back into our work clothes to fabricate and install the steel we unloaded.”

Among the creditors that didn’t close its doors to the Capones was Salem Five. “We started working with Salem Five in 2003,” notes Stephen. “We were coming off a bad year and our bank at the time wasn’t too eager to continue working with us. We contacted Salem Five and they recognized our potential. Since then, we’ve had note consolidations, refinances, equipment loans and more. We’re constantly in communication with Cliff Boggis, Senior Vice President at the bank. We feel like we have a true partner. Salem Five knows us by name and they really want to help us grow.

Salem Five Resource

Securing Your Tools of the Trade

Capone Iron Corporation does a lot of business with Salem Five. It has a revolving line of credit, commercial real estate mortgage, operating and sweep accounts and utilizes Remote Deposit Service and Web Cash Manager. Most recently, says Stephen Capone, the company took on a substantial equipment loan.

“The note helped us buy a state-of-the- art steel processing center called a Voortman,” he explains. “It’s a drill and saw cell set up to automatically feed material into the saw, cut it and drill multiple holes. Funds were also allocated to reorganize the layout of the plant itself.” Once Capone Iron settled on the right equipment, they didn’t have to wait long to make the planned center a reality.

“Honestly, it was easy to get the financing,” Capone observes. “I presented our business plan to the bank, and the loan was approved and funded. Start to finish, the process was done in less than 30 days.”

If you’re looking to fund new equipment, or growth of any kind, a Salem Five Loan or Line of Credit can help. A Salem Five term loan offers a flexible, convenient, secured term loan with predictable repayment terms. With our line of credit, you’ll have access to credit amounts consistent with your needs.

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