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Seven Pennsylvania businesses to receive loans

February 26, 2001

Seven Pennsylvania businesses to receive loans



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - About $1 million in state loans will help seven small area businesses acquire new property and equipment while retaining employees.

The businesses recently learned their applications, submitted through the Franklin County Area Development Corp., were approved.

Six businesses received a Small Business First Loan fixed at a 5 percent interest rate. One company received a Machinery and Equipment Loan with a 5.25 percent interest rate.

Depending on the loan, the companies are on 3-, 7- or 10-year repayment schedules.

The Pennsylvania Small Business First Fund program is designed specifically to assist small businesses with less than 100 employees that are engaged primarily in manufacturing or industrial activities, said L. Michael Ross, president of the corporation.

It gives them the opportunity to borrow at below-market interest rates and allows them to remain competitive and expand.

"We've used the program extensively over the last 14 years," Ross said. "I believe it to be the best because it is the most flexible of all state lending programs."

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The businesses must have a specific proposal for the funds, including acquiring land, adding on to a building or acquiring equipment.

The seven businesses receiving state loans are:

-- Chambersburg Engineering, $100,000 to purchase inventory.

-- Graphics Universal, $195,837 to fund the acquisition and renovation of a building in the Cumberland Valley Business Park for a subsidiary.

-- HC Gabler, $200,000 to support the acquisition of an eight-acre parcel and 14,000-square-foot building in the Cumberland Valley Business Park.

-- Stouffer Bros., Inc., $100,000 to help purchase machinery and equipment.

-- Tanner Roof, Inc., $200,000 to help with the construction of a new facility in South Hampton Township.

-- Tri Fab, Inc., $58,000 to assist with the purchase of new machinery and equipment.

-- L&S Stone, Inc., $232,500 to purchase new equipment.

"It's a huge help. The whole intent of low interest financing is to induce investment ... By inducing investment the company will have a need to increase employment," Ross said.

In some cases, the companies need to make investment in machinery for job retention.

With these projects, Ross estimates 45 new jobs will be created and 280 jobs will be retained.

"Small Business First Fund loans are the most effective development tool Pennsylvania offers," Ross said.

In 2000, Franklin County businesses received $2.1 million from the Small Business First Fund, he said. Currently, there are several other local applications under state consideration.

"We try to use it as aggressively as we can. We're always trying to make sure the small business community is aware of the program and takes advantage of it," Ross said .

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