Paper Cup Manufacturer to Establish Manufacturing Operation in Lehigh Valley

By Colin McEvoy on August 8, 2019

A startup manufacturer of high-end graphic paper cups has chosen the Lehigh Valley to establish its first manufacturing operation.

The Continental Cup Company will lease a 40,000 square-foot building in the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII in Bethlehem.

The Continental Cup Company announced today it will lease a 40,000 square-foot building in the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII in Bethlehem, a project that will support the creation of 71 jobs in the region.

The announcement is a culmination of sorts of a years-long effort by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) and multiple other regional partners to establish more small-footprint manufacturing space in the 40,000 to 80,000 square-foot range in the region.

“Continental Cup’s move into the Lehigh Valley continues the extraordinary growth of manufacturing that is happening here,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham.

“We’re grateful for the state’s support and Continental’s interest in making Northampton County its home,” Cunningham said. “Continental joins the nearly 700 manufacturers in the Lehigh Valley that account for $7.4 billion of the region’s $40 billion GDP, making manufacturing our second largest sector.”

The Continental Cup Company manufactures cup products primarily for the theater industry, quick service restaurants, convenience stores and food service distribution companies.

The company chose the Lehigh Valley after a lengthy site selection process that included multiple states. It plans to invest $9.5 million into the Bethlehem project, according to Rick Timone, President of the Continental Cup Company.

“We are extremely excited for our very first operation in Northampton County and proud of our contribution to the local economy providing family-sustaining jobs that will have a positive impact on Bethlehem and surrounding communities,” Timone said.

LVEDC has seen a great deal of interest from prospects like Continental Cup seeking smaller manufacturing and flex space in the Lehigh Valley. The organization has hosted events dedicated to this subject, highlighted the topic in its Lehigh Valley Commercial Real Estate Report, and discussed it in other publications and at other venues.

According to an LVEDC report issued in November 2017, the total available space for industrial buildings in the 40,000 to 80,000 square-foot range had changed very little over a five-year period, growing from 13.2 million in Q3 2012 to 13.4 million in Q3 2017. Out of 6 million square feet of industrial space under construction at the time, none was within that range.

The space Continental Cup is leasing was made available by LVIP as part of a collaborative effort with multiple Lehigh Valley partners to make that small-footprint space available, Cunningham said.

Those partners include LVIP, Northampton County, the Lehigh Valley Economic Investment Corporation, the Northampton County Industrial Development Authority, and the Northampton County General Purpose Authority.

“This was a true team effort, and is an excellent example of the way various parties and stakeholders in the Lehigh Valley work together to help advance economic development in the region,” Cunningham said.

LVEDC helped coordinate the project along with the Governor’s Action Team, a group of economic development professionals who report directly to Gov. Tom Wolf’s office and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.

“I’m proud to welcome Continental Cup Company to Pennsylvania,” Wolf said. “Manufacturing is thriving in the Lehigh Valley and the addition of this new facility helps to keep this momentum going.”

Continental Cup received a funding proposal from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for a $155,000 Pennsylvania First grant, and $142,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of new jobs, according to the state.

The company will also receive up to $31,950 in grants for workforce training and development, and was encouraged to apply for a low-interest $400,000 loan from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority to assist with equipment costs.

“The support from the Governor’s Action Team was a key component to making this project a reality,” Timone said. “We appreciate Governor Wolf’s support and commitment.”

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