North Central 6-23-21

The North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission (North Central) full board met virtually via the Zoom platform on Wednesday morning beginning at 9:30 a.m.

RIDGWAY- "Did anyone else have frost this morning?" inquired Chairperson Commissioner Carol Duffy of McKean County as the meeting began on Wednesday morning virtually for the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission (North Central). The meeting proved a short one with 4 additional loans approved by the full board unanimously. 

North Central was awarded $1.76 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic  Development Administration (EDA) through the Coronavirus Aid Relief and  Economic Security (CARES) Act to establish the loan fund to provide low cost, flexible financing to regional businesses for projects that will prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic or economic injury caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Features of the EDA CARES Act Relief loan fund were designed to make credit accessible and affordable for small businesses. Funding can be used to finance fixed asset purchases and for working capital, with loan payments deferred for the first six months at 0% interest. After that, a fixed interest rate from .75% - 1.75%  will be used on loan amounts up to $100,000.  Loans of less than $25,000 undergo an expedited review and approval process for a quick turnaround for local businesses. EDA Cares Act funding can function as a sole lender or be combined with a bank and/or other financing sources. The settlement fee of 1.5% of the loan amount is waived along with the credit not otherwise available. Local businesses interested in the program should reach out to Jennifer Hibbard, Loan Program Director, at jhibbard@ncentral.com. More information is also available on the North Central website at ncentral.com.
As of June 30, $880,000 in loans have been approved by the board in 2021, easily meeting the Federal Guideline of having 50% of the loan money distributed in the first 6 months of the program. Applicants from every county represented by North Central have been approved for EDA CARES Act Funding. An additional four loans were approved at this virtual meeting. As the primary Local Development District (LDO) for Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, and Potter Counties, one of North Central's primary functions is to provide financing for both businesses and municipalities in the region. On Wednesday, the North Central Board approved four loans to local businesses totaling $190,000 through the EDA CARES Act Relief Fund that was established last year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional funding was also provided through the USDA and ARC funds in the total of $237,500 The Board unanimously approved all loans.
Harold Karschner, the owner of  Protektor Model, of Galetown in Potter County,  requested a loan in the amount of $100,000 under the EDA Cares Act fund. The term of the loan would be for seven years at an interest rate of 0.75%. The loan will be used to purchase equipment including a CNC lathe, laser engraver, and sewing machine to manufacture parts in-house and eliminate the need to outsource. This will address the delays from outsourcing which the business has been experiencing due to COVID-19.
Barnhart Davis LLC and Barnhart-Davis Company, the NAPA store in Ridgway Elk County requested a loan in the amount of $65,000 under the USDA Fund. The term of the loan would be for fifteen years at an interest rate of 2.5%. The loan will be used for expansion of Ridgway NAPA store for additional space capacity needed for warehouse storage for parts and retail display.  It is estimated that six jobs will be retained, with several being added over the loan term. An additional loan was also approved for $175,000 under the ARC Fund under the same loan terms. 
Sidelinger Brothers Tool & Die, Inc., of Kersey in Elk County, requested a loan amount of $40,000 from the EDA Cares Act fund. The term of the loan would be for seven years at an interest rate of 0.75%. The loan will be used to purchase equipment for the manufacturing plant. Three full-time jobs will be retained, with the possibility of new jobs being created over the loan term.
RTB2 Good Food, The Corner Market of Kersey in Elk County requested a loan in the amount of $50,000. The term of the loan would be for five years at an interest rate of 0.75%. The loan will be used for inventory and working capital for the long-existing grocery store. One full-time and 10 part-time positions are expected to be retained over the length of the loan. 
The next full board meeting, with in-person attendance for North Central will take place on  Wednesday, July 28, at the headquarters of the organization on Ridgmont Dive in Ridgway beginning at 9:30 a.m.and will also be available virtually.

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