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Duane Smith Canvasworks

Owner(s): Duane Smith

Company: Duane Smith Canvasworks

Industry: Manufacturing

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Minnesota Business Finance Corporation (MBFC) is honored to present Duane Smith, President of Duane Smith Canvasworks, MBFC’s VetLoan Advantage rebate check for $3,000. MBFC is the only Certified Development Company in Minnesota to offer a rebate to business owners that are active or retired members of military service.

Duane Smith started his business, Canvasworks, Inc., in his garage in 1979.  He was just out of the U.S. Navy after serving over four years where he learned to sew as a parachute rigger.  Duane was determined to put his sewing and problem solving skills to use by starting a boat cover business.

From this beginning, he quickly branched out into awnings, upholstery, boat blinds, tarps, and custom projects.  In the 1990’s he developed the SnoCaps product which is the only road-going fabric enclosed trailer cover on the road today.

Duane continues to upgrade his skills as well as those of his expert craftsmen through the past 35 years.  In addition to the Canvasworks products, Duane designs and crafts custom motorcycle seats.  He uses aerospace foam to create a comfortable seat for long rides. The customer is able to choose the color of the leather and stitching to make their seat one-of-a-kind.  Duane has worked tirelessly to grow his business to one of the largest fabric and aluminum fabrication companies in Minnesota.

MBFC assisted Duane with an SBA 504 loan to purchase a building in Cokato, Minnesota to expand his business.  The new building is heated and air conditioned with a large shop area allowing him to pull boats into the building to craft the covers.  He has a designated aluminum frame fabrication area, and is pictured by the sewing tables where the covers and upholstery are created.

Visit his website at: canvasworksincmn.com A special thank you to Duane for his service to our country.