July 13th, 2023

The Right Place assists Howies Hockey Tape with Gaines Charter Township expansion

Sporting goods company to add 45 jobs, invest $6 million with Caledonia expansion

West Michigan Greater Grand Rapids

Today, The Right Place, Inc., in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), announced that sporting goods brand, Howies Hockey Tape, will be expanding, moving out of its warehousing and distribution facility at 3445 36th St. SE in Kentwood and building a new facility at 6658 East Paris Dr. in Caledonia. The company plans to add 45 jobs and $6 million in capital investment to support demand from new customers and markets.

Howies Hockey Tape is a sporting goods brand that produces quality products for hockey accessories. Since 2002, their mission has been to provide the highest quality of products alongside remarkable customer service that ensures proper care and satisfaction. In addition to being a leading provider of hockey accessories, Howies offers products and apparel that are used in a number of outdoor sports including rock climbing, downhill skiing, football, baseball, tennis, golf, and more. The Howies Hockey Tape team plans to expand to improve its facilities and processes to continue its growth in order to meet the increasing demand from its NHL, NFL, and NCAA customers.

“Growing up in Eastown, Grand Rapids has always been a special place to me. I’m blessed to have been raised here and I’m proud to make Michigan my home,” said Max Sieplinga, Owner of Howies Hockey Tape. “As we look towards the future of Howies, our dream is to build a sporting goods brand that is widely recognized internationally. A brand that Michigan, specifically West Michigan, is proud to call their own. Founders did it in beer, Steelcase in furniture, & we hope to accomplish it in hockey & the sports medicine world.”

The Right Place worked closely with the MEDC to ensure the company continued its growth in the region rather than out-of-state locations and Canada. With the approval of a $270,000 Michigan Business Development Program (MBDP) grant, the MEDC is supporting the expansion through the Michigan Strategic Fund. Gaines Township was chosen for the project over competing sites in the western U.S., the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Canada because of the company’s longstanding roots in the state.

“We’re thrilled that we were able to keep Howies Hockey Tape within our region,” said Olivia Lanctot, Business Development Manager at The Right Place and project lead. “This expansion marks a significant milestone for the company and we’re happy to have played a part in their growth. We can’t wait to see what new top-quality products and expertise they’ll bring to the table.”

“Gaines Charter Township is excited to welcome Howies Hockey Tape to our community of local businesses that choose to grow here in West Michigan,” said Dan Wells, Community Development Director of Gaines Charter Township. “Howies has become an internationally recognized brand due to its high-quality products that are put to the test every day at rinks across the world by men and women players whether they’re dangling the defense or going top shelf! We are proud to have this hometown company build with us and are looking forward to partnering with them as they continue to grow.”