Danimer Scientific looks to expand and bring new jobs to rural Georgia

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Advantage Capital announced last week a $6.5 million investment in Danimer Scientific, a leading biotechnology company producing biodegradable and compostable polymers used in consumer and industrial products. The investment was made through the GARJA program and supports the company’s anticipated growth as it seeks to boost capacity and significantly increase its workforce at its Bainbridge location over the next few years.

“The Georgia Agribusiness and Rural Jobs Act was created to bring investment capital and jobs to the more rural parts of the state,” said State Representative Jay Powell (R-Camilla). “Danimer’s growth is not only helping to solve key environmental issues facing the world today but is also bringing additional high-quality jobs to the local community of Bainbridge.”

Bainbridge, with a population just north of 12,000, faces many of the same challenges confronting towns, businesses and residents across Georgia’s rural areas. The loss of both residents and jobs looms large. And as many rural communities are still struggling to recover from the 2008-2009 recession, barriers to investment capital make it difficult for rural businesses to compete, expand, and create good quality jobs.

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The investment in Danimer, currently one of the largest employers in the region, will enable the company to increase production capacity which will require many new employees, most hired from the surrounding area. Three-fourths of the company’s anticipated new jobs will be accessible to those with a high school degree or equivalent, helping to grow the local work force. The company also provides specialized training programs, helping to close any local skills gaps and ready employees for upward growth and mobility.

“I grew up in Bainbridge and am proud of the work we are doing at this company,” said John “Jad” Dowdy, CFO of Danimer. “Our employees work hard every day to create products that lead to a cleaner, more sustainable environment by replacing traditional petroleum-based plastics that are neither compostable nor biodegradable. This investment will allow us to more than double our capacity, hire new employees, and continue Danimer’s rapid growth.”

The Danimer investment is Advantage Capital’s first investment through the GARJA program, which was designed to bring private capital to rural Georgia, helping businesses like Danimer secure the financing they need to grow. The GARJA capital served to anchor a larger $11 million cumulative financing, with the balance provided by an affiliate of People Incorporated of Virginia, a community action agency serving the southeast United States.

“This is our first investment through the Georgia Agribusiness and Rural Jobs Act. Our participation in GARJA allowed us to identify Danimer’s growth opportunity, and then build a comprehensive financing package to meet the company’s need,” said Abhi Chandrasekhara of Advantage Capital. “We are excited to continue investing across the state to create considerable impact, strengthen the local economy, and continue job growth in rural parts of the state.”