South Shore Iron Works Drives Manufacturing Innovation

Fred Hartmann, owner and president of South Shore Iron Works

For nearly a century, South Shore Iron Works has been the leading steel fabricator helping to bring Chicago’s world-renowned architecture from blueprint to reality.


Since 1924, South Shore Iron Works has provided steel fabrication to the construction industry. It’s an industry that changes constantly as architects and engineers design increasingly complex structures with an expanding range of materials.

South Shore Iron Works remains an industry leader by transforming its products and manufacturing capabilities to meet customer needs. What started as a structural steel fabricator, turned into a miscellaneous steel fabricator to accommodate the muscular designs of the late 1960s.

In 1989, Fred Hartmann became president and owner of South Shore Iron Works. He guided the business as it made another shift to focus on metal wall panels used in modern, sleek designs. By leveraging process improvement and innovation, South Shore Iron Works became the first AISC-certified wall panel fabricator nationwide.

Innovation continued when the Integrity Wall was introduced in 2009. “We developed and patented a product called the Integrity Wall, which is a load-bearing wall panel system that allows us to build mid-rise buildings up to 20 stories tall,” said President Fred Hartmann. The wall shortens construction time and reduces building costs while offering unparalleled design flexibility.

After the company’s previous bank closed, Hartmann was referred to South Central by a friend. Hartmann said working with Bob Ribordy and Marc and Todd Grayson has been such a wonderful experience that he can’t even remember how long he has been a Bank customer. “They listen to what we need,” he said.

This personal, caring relationship is what Hartmann said makes South Central Bank the perfect fit for South Shore Iron Works.

“They are a small, hometown bank. South Central has always been the same people. They are easy to deal with and they care. It’s simple.”

SBA Loans

Few banks know more about connecting your business with capital backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) than South Central Bank. We were one of the first SBA “Preferred Lenders” in Northern Illinois under 7(a), the most popular SBA loan program.

At South Central, we make SBA decisions quickly. We are authorized to approve up to $5 million for a 7(a) SBA loans “in-house,” without prior SBA approval, so there is no delay.

SBA loans suit a variety of transactions when business customers would like permanent financing. Permanent financing protects businesses from issues during stressful periods when renewal of short-term funding might be a problem.

That’s because SBA loans can provide more money for a longer period of time than conventional financing. Loans generally range from $100,000 to $5 million. Repayment terms vary by loan use. Working capital loans can be repaid up to seven years. Equipment loans have terms of up to 10 years, while real estate terms can extend to 25 years for business real estate. Visit our website for details.

Contact Bob Ribordy at (312) 491-7118 or Todd Grayson at (312) 491-7114 to see how South Central can make SBA 7(a) loans help your business transform.