Wind Energy Company is Lehigh Valley Lending Network’s First Success Story
By Colin McEvoy on August 18, 2015
The recently-launched Lehigh Valley Lending Network, which provides businesses with access to financing options to support economic growth projects, has already notched its first success story.
Windkits, an Upper Macungie Township-based company that creates structural core kits for blades used in wind power turbines, has been able to obtain tailored financing from a commercial lender thanks to the Lending Network, an initiative of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC).
“One of the long-time strengths of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. has been its partnership with banks and lending institutions,” said Don Cunningham, LVEDC President and CEO. “This creation of a Lending Network that allows new customers to shop for capital resources in one spot is a new innovation that makes us rare across the country. This is only possible because of the commitment our banks have to the Lehigh Valley and to regional economic development.”
Through the Lending Network, LVEDC helped Windkits disseminate information about the company and their specific financing needs to a targeted series of lenders, ultimately connecting them with Bank of America. This relationship will allow Windkits to acquire machinery and equipment, to expand their product line and to access international credit facilities.
John Kingsley, LVEDC Vice President of Finance, said this illustrates the value of the Lehigh Valley Lending Network, which streamlines the process for growing Lehigh Valley businesses seeking to establish new bank relationships, while taking advantage of low-interest rate incentive programs available, and ultimately takes a holistic approach to assisting local companies, as opposed to focusing on a single project.
“What we have assembled in the Lending Network is an agile group of commercial and economic development lending institutions that can collectively address any borrowing need a growing Lehigh Valley company may have,” Kingsley said. “Furthermore, with the numerous incentive loan programs LVEDC and our economic development partners can bring to the table, we can leverage the best possible rates and terms available in our region.
He added, “Windkits is a terrific company with great growth potential in an innovative industry. Pairing our local companies with the resources they need to grow and prosper in the Lehigh Valley is the primary role of our Finance Department. We are so glad to have been able to assist them in this capacity.”
LVEDC had been working with Windkits since late January. A subsidiary of JSB Group A/S, the company makes key components for utility-scale wind turbine blades that supply clean energy to the nation’s electrical grid. Windkits is based in the Lehigh Valley, and JSB has multiple locations in the United States, as well as Denmark and China. Andreas Kipker, the Finance Manager for JSB Group A/S, is very complimentary of the company’s experience with the Lending Network.
“The financing obtained with help from the Lending Network and Bank of America has assisted Windkits in growing from 39 employees in 2014 to currently 86 employees,” Kipker said. “At the same time, the network has contributed to keeping production in the Lehigh Valley that was challenged by foreign suppliers. Personally we would like to thank John Kingsley of LVEDC and Michael McCarty from Bank of America, who both worked relentlessly to tailor the financing to fit our needs.”
Under the Lehigh Valley Lending Network, an eligible borrower completes a series of forms outlining their business and provides a financial profile outlining their operating history and financing needs. This information is circulated to banks and economic development lenders based on the preferences of the borrower.
Representatives of the selected lending organizations then provide an expression of interest in working with the borrower that will outline the likely terms of a loan that could be offered if the company meets specific eligibility and credit criteria. To be eligible for the program, a company must have a profitable operating history during at least two of the past three years, and must be locating or expanding their business within the Lehigh Valley.
JSB is introducing new technology, which required Windkits to expand its technical capabilities. The company’s new relationship with Bank of America will allow them to acquire the necessary machinery and equipment which includes certain CNC machinery and other equipment to support their production line.
“At Bank of America, we’re really excited to participate in the Lehigh Valley Lending Network,” said Business Banking Client Manager Michael McCarty. “As a leading provider of commercial credit and working capital, we are proud to deliver the financial solutions needed to help Lehigh Valley businesses like Windkits to grow, improve cash management and invest for the future. The Lehigh Valley Lending Network is yet another way to ensure our services extend well into the local business community.”
Windkits moved from Bergen County, N.J., to Upper Macungie Township in 2011. They are a primary supplier to some of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers. Some of the company’s customers include Vestas Wind Systems, Siemens Wind Power, LM Wind Power, and TPI Composites.
Formally opened earlier this year, the Lehigh Valley Lending Network offers a single point of access to both private and public financing options. It allows companies to canvass many incentive financing or traditional bank loan product resources through one inquiry simultaneously, and to ultimately identify the best options for their specific needs. The members of the Lehigh Valley Lending network include more than 10 local, regional, national and international financial institutions and more than 15 local and regional economic development financing organizations.
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