Advantage Capital Partners, Chicago, said it provided $7.8 million in financing toProtein Solutions, a processor and distributor of portion controlled meat products. The company employs 375 people and operates a USDA-certified facility on the near southwest side of Chicago.

Protein Solutions will use the funds to further position itself for continued growth, officials said. Advantage Capital said it provided financing in connection with the Illinois New Markets Development program and the federal New Markets Tax Credit program. Both programs are designed to stimulate economic growth in communities that historically have been underserved by traditional sources of capital.

“The Illinois New Markets Development program investment in Protein Solutions is a positive step for the company, the community where it is located and the hundreds of people who work there,” said Jeremy Degenhart, a principal at Advantage Capital Partners. “Our firm is very encouraged by the company’s performance over the last few years, including the development of an impressive customer base.”

Protein Solutions processes custom portioned beef, pork and poultry products for restaurants, distributors and food wholesale customers nationwide.

“We have a stable, diversified base of customers and a strong awareness of consumer needs,” said Bill Kulach, Protein Solutions CEO. “The investment comes at the right time for our company and will allow us to increase our investment in R&D efforts, developing new products for our customers. We have a new state-of-the-art facility which currently operates at 50 percent capacity. We have ample room for growth and intend on utilizing it for additional volume.”

“The company has demonstrated tremendous growth in its short seven-year history, growing on its own cash resources,” added Timothy Reiter, president of Protein Solutions and newest member of the executive team with over 20 years in the food processing industry. “The funding provided by Advantage Capital through the New Markets program will elevate our ability to expand into other channels and be more strategic in our procurement strategy, which will ultimately benefit our customers.”