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Lehigh Valley Companies Receive Low-Interest PIDA Loans

By Colin McEvoy on July 11, 2016

Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development announced a combined $1.65 million in low-interest loans will be awarded to two Lehigh Valley companies.

Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development announced a combined $1.65 million in low-interest loans will be awarded to two Lehigh Valley companies.

Two Lehigh Valley companies have received a combined $1.65 million in low-interest loans to help grow their businesses and create jobs as the result of a loan program the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) helps administer.

Vastex International, Inc., a leading manufacturer of screen printing machines in Bethlehem, received a $1.2 million loan, and Everson Tesla, Inc., a Nazareth-based manufacturer of coils, motors, magnets, and superconductor magnets and systems, received a $450,000 loan.

Both were 15-year loans from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) program at 2.25 percent for the first seven years, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), which first announced the loans last week.

“Governor Wolf recognizes that diversity, inclusion, and small business opportunities are essential to ensuring jobs that pay and to restoring a thriving Pennsylvania economy,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davis. “Today the PIDA board (approved) strong projects, and we look forward to even greater participation through the changes announced today for years to come.”

PIDA, one of several financing programs LVEDC administers, offers low-interest loans through industrial development corporations to businesses for land and building acquisition, construction and renovations that results in the creation or preservation of jobs.

Also this month, the state announced the creation of a new Small Diverse Business Capital Access (SDBCA) Program, administered by PIDA, which provides low-interest loans and lines of credit to minority-, woman-, or veteran-owned businesses with 100 employees or fewer.

“This is excellent news that adds new eligibility to the PIDA program and allows us to help finance small diverse businesses located within the commonwealth that are committed to creating new jobs and/or retaining existing ones,” said John Kingsley, LVEDC Vice President of Finance.

Two projects supported

Vastex International will use the $1.2 million PIDA loan to acquire 8.25 acres in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII to construct a 45,000 square-foot modern manufacturing facility, creating eight new jobs and retaining 23 existing jobs. The total project cost is estimated at $3.75 million.

Vastex has leased a 25,000 square-foot facility in Allentown since 1998. The new building, constructed by J.G. Petrucci Co., Inc., will contain manufacturing space, a shipping area, office space, and a showroom with the ability to almost double the size of the building in the future.

“LVEDC has been an invaluable partner in helping us secure our PIDA loan and offering guidance throughout the entire financial process,” said Mark Vasilantone, president of Vastex International.

Construction expected to begin before the end of the year, and be completed in the spring of 2017, Vasilantone said.

Everson Tesla will use its $450,000 loan to build a 10,290 square-foot addition to their current facility in the Salvaggio Industrial Park in Nazareth. The company’s two existing buildings total 64,000 square-feet on a five-acre site.

The $900,000 expansion project will create five new jobs and retain 75 existing positions, with construct expected to begin over the summer and be completed in late 2016, with occupancy expected to begin early next year.

The new building will add more office, storage, and production space for Everson Tesla, which designs, develops, and fabricates key sub-assemblies for various original equipment manufacturers.

Statewide investment

These were two of four PIDA loans announced by the month this week, with the other two totaling $379,500 for projects in Bedford and Luzerne counties. PIDA has approved $30.5 million in low-interest loans statewide in 2016, resulting in $60.4 million in private investment and supporting 1,217 created and retained jobs, according to the state.

PIDA, one of several financing programs LVEDC administers, offers low-interest loans through industrial development corporations to businesses for land and building acquisition, construction and renovations that results in the creation or preservation of jobs.

PIDA provides loans primarily for manufacturers, industrial developers, research and development firms, agricultural processors and employers looking to establish national or regional headquarters in Pennsylvania, according to the state.

Qualified applicants are eligible to select either a reset rate of 2.25 percent for the first seven years or a fixed rate of 3.00 percent for real estate financing, 3. percent fixed rate for equipment loans, 3 percent fixed rate loans for a 12-month period for working capital and accounts receivable lines of credit, and 2.00 percent fixed rate for pollution prevention and energy efficient loans. Rates will be in effect for loan applications received through September 30.

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