Four Berks County businesses ranging from a toothbrush manufacturer to a poultry farm were awarded more than $2.4 million in low-interest state loans, the Greater Berks Development Fund announced.
GBDF helped secure the funding for the Berks County businesses. The loans were among 20 awarded statewide by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority’s program for small-business projects.
“One of the best ways we can encourage businesses to grow and create jobs is by providing access to capital for acquisition of property, construction or purchase of equipment and machinery that businesses need to expand,” Gov. Tom Wolf said.
Wolf said the projects, which were approved Wednesday, would help create and retain more than 1,100 jobs statewide.
The business are Radius Corp. in Kutztown, Mail Shark in Cumru Township, Zahncroft Dairy LLC in Marion Township and poultry farmers Ricky and Miriam Manwiller in Heidelberg Township.
RADIUS, a toothbrush and oral care products manufacturer, was approved for a $1.4 million loan to assist the company with its renovation of the former Kutztown Silk Corp., 40 Willow St., Kutztown. It is the third loan GBDF has secured for RADIUS.
RADIUS plans to relocate the company to the 40,000-square-foot mill because it has outgrown its location at 207 Railroad St., where it has been since 1988.
The total cost of the renovation is expected to be $3.4 million, according to GBDF.
Kevin Foley, founder and chairman of the board, said the move will allow RADIUS to not only integrate and augment its manufacturing processes, but retain 28 jobs and create 14 new positions.
Targeted Solutions LLC, doing business as Mail Shark, was approved for a $180,000 loan that will help it finance the purchase of a $360,000 five-color press to expand production and retain 77 jobs, the company said. It was the fourth loan GBDF helped the company secure.
Zahncroft Dairy, owned and operated by the Sattazahn family, was approved for a $400,000 loan, comprising more than 20 percent of a $1.9 million project to build a new free-stall barn and milking parlor to improve efficiency.
“The PIDA loan allows us to secure a great interest rate, helping ease cash flow,” Katie Sattazahn said.
Ricky and Miriam Manwiller will get a $400,000 loan to expand their poultry broiler business, part of a $900,000 project to build two broiler houses capable of producing 396,000 birds annually.