Introduction to Elkhart County, Indiana

Elkhart County, Indiana, has a population of almost 200,000 in north-central Indiana. The county seat is Goshen. Elkhart is the county’s largest city, with about 25% of all county residents within its borders. The county claims to be the recreational vehicle capital of the world. There is also a history of cabinet-making in the county, particularly amongst the Amish and Mennonite population.

In mid-December 2020, Premium Rock announced they are expanding to meet the demand for their engineered stone panels.

Rural Nappanee, Indiana at sunrise.

The number of reported jobs retained by the SBA’s PPP program was 33,460 by 1,790 companies using $302M in combined loans. The top industries receiving loans relate to truck trailer manufacturing, power and communication line construction, and motor home manufacturing. Women own approximately 3.4% of businesses. Military vets own 0.22%.  Almost 3% of businesses are minority-owned.

1st Source Bank came in second to Lake City Bank in both the number of loans and the value. First State Bank of Middlebury was third in both categories. C.A. Advanced received the largest loan in the county at the program maximum of $10M. C.A. Advanced does business as Arc American (electrical utility contractor) and Asphalt Solutions (paving contractor). The companies retained 438 jobs with the money.

There are three public companies with headquarters in Elkhart. LCI Industries, Patrick Industries, and Thor Industries. All are involved in the manufacturing of recreational vehicles.

Our featured business in Elkhart County is Kountry Wood Products. Ola Yoder started the company in 1998. Owning to his Amish heritage, the company was started not in an automobile garage like a modern tech startup but his barn. Today Ola’s team produces 6,000 cabinets a day from their 227,000 square foot of manufacturing space. According to an article from Woodworking Network, Mr. Yoder never attended college but just described himself as determined.