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CAEDC Update from the CEO

By Jonathan Bowser

This was published on Cumberlink.com and the Cumberland Valley Business Journal on April 17, 2016.

Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC) identified Food Processing/Agribusiness as the top priority industry for business attraction in the Strategic Economic Development Plan for Cumberland County. Our strategic location, abundant and fertile farmland, a skilled workforce, and comprehensive infrastructure gets products to market quickly and at a reasonable cost.

This area is already thriving as an agricultural hub with impressive statistics including: over 44% of the county is zoned for agriculture use, currently supporting 1,400 working farms (154,879 acres); of 67 counties in Pennsylvania, Cumberland County remains in the top 10 for the value of its agriculture products; and over 70 food and beverage production companies are already located here.

Cumberland Valley’s strategic location is another major asset to the food processing and agribusiness industry. Highlights include:

Access to five major ports (Philadelphia, Newark, Baltimore, New York, Newport)

Highway connections via Interstate 81, I-83, I-76 and US 11/15 puts Cumberland Valley within six hours of Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Richmond, Baltimore and Columbus

Access to air travel and rail systems

Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania State Capital, is located directly across the Susquehanna River that runs along the east shore of Cumberland Valley

This area is also home to many successful and notable agribusinesses including:

Vantage Foods (Meat Packaging)

Warrell Corporation (Confectionery Manufacturing from Purchased Chocolates)

Nestle Purina Pet Care Co. (Dog and Cat Food Manufacturing)

Schreiber Foods (Cheese and Yogurt Manufacturing)

Land O’ Lakes Inc. (Milk Processing)

ADM Milling Co. (Flour Milling)

Terranettis Italian Bakery (Commercial Baking)

Bimbo Bakeries (Commercial Baking)

Kessler Foods Inc. (Meat Processing & Packaging)

Toigo Orchards (Certified Organic Tomato Production)

Lindt (Retail Outlet and Distribution Center)

Pepsi-Cola (Distribution Center)

Coca-Cola (Distribution Center)

Dairy Farmers of America (Manufacturer of Cheese, Butter and Dairy Ingredients, and Contract Manufacturer for Consumer Products)

Resources for Food Processing & Agribusiness

CAEDC can provide food manufactures and agribusinesses with in-house loan programs or can assist with connecting to other sources of financing and funding through the PA Department of Community & Economic Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A highlight of available loan and grant programs include:

Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 Loan Program – provides growing businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as real estate development, working capital and equipment

PA Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) – various programs provide financing for real estate development, equipment and working capital

Tax-Exempt Financing – through the Cumberland County Industrial Development Authority, tax-exempt financing is available for land, buildings, refinancing and machinery and equipment

Next Generation Farmer Loan Program – encourages lenders to finance beginning farmers by allocating a portion of the Commonwealth’s private activity bond volume cap to first-time farmer projects

USDA Farm Service Agency Guaranteed Loans – provide lenders with a guarantee of up to 95% of the loss of principal and interest on a loan; farmers apply to an agricultural lender that then arranges for the guarantee

Specialty Crops Grant Program – state and/or local organizations, producer associations, academia, community based organizations and other specialty crops stakeholders can apply for projects aimed at enhancing the competiveness of specialty crops

Value Added Products Grant – program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based, value-added products including new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities and increasing producer income

For large land development and infrastructure projects, CAEDC will work with local taxing bodies and businesses to determine if a Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) abatement or Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) mechanism is needed. CAEDC is committed to finding the resources you need to help you grow.

Success Story – CAEDC recently assisted Kessler Foods Inc. with an expansion project using the Cumberland Small Business Fund. Kessler’s is a high-quality food manufacturing facility in Lemoyne and the loan assisted with their expansion project to qualify for their Safe Quality Foods (SQF) Certification.

Available Infrastructure

CAEDC’s site selection website, CumberlandCountySites.com, features a variety of available sites for various uses. Below are a few sites perfect for food processing.

207 Lynndale Court, Building D, Mechanicsburg, PA – Ideal warehouse space consisting of 31,000 SF available for sale or lease. Industrial General Zoning permits a wide variety of uses.

2244 Gettysburg Rd., Camp Hill, PA – Rare hard to find stand-alone rail served industrial warehouse building available for sale or lease. Space can be demised. Excellent user-occupied opportunity. Abundant loading and Norfolk Southern rail spur (exterior) access.

Mill St. & Rt. 34 S, Mount Holly Springs, PA – Hard to find 45 acres zoned industrial/ manufacturing and within minutes to I-81. The property is currently being used for agriculture under the grandfather clause.

I-81 Commerce Park, Shippensburg, PA – Approximately 300 acres available with electric, gas, sewer and water. 3.7 million SF industrial business park designed for warehouse/distribution/light manufacturing and offices uses.

5031 Richard Lane, Suite 101, Mechanicsburg – High quality, institutional grade masonry building in a great location. Perfect for a company seeking a Class A energy efficient property overlooking the Rossmoyne Business Center campus.

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