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Bowser: Recent successes highlight strategic plan

This editorial was published on August 21, 2016 on Cumberlink.com and will appear in the Cumberland Valley Business Journal.

Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC) has worked with a variety of businesses in Cumberland Valley to help them meet their growing needs in 2016. These businesses relate directly back to the key industries identified in the Strategic Economic Development Plan for the County.

Agribusiness/Food Processing

Kessler Foods—Kessler’s, a high-quality food manufacturing facility in Lemoyne, recently completed their largest expansion in 30 years by adding 4,500 square feet of space for dry storage and a corridor that allows access to it without going through the storage area for ready-to-eat products. The addition allowed them to obtain a Global Food Safety Initiative Certificate, allowing them to be more competitive. CAEDC assisted Kessler’s with the expansion through the Cumberland Small Business Fund.

Warrington Farm/Cabin Hollow Butcher—CAEDC assisted this existing agribusiness with a SBA 504 loan for an expansion to their butcher shop. With the expansion, this family-owned business, will be able to offer their meat products for retail and wholesale. Cabin Hollow produces over 30 different kinds of sausages, hotdogs, snack sticks and bologna. Due to outgrowing their current space, the expansion will add an additional 9,367 sq. ft. and consolidate their butchering and meat processing with retail at their butcher shop location.

Tourism

Midway Bowling Center—CAEDC assisted Midway Bowling Center in Carlisle with their renovations through the SBA 504 loan program. Midway Bowling Center’s new features include a remodeled bar area, restored bowling lanes, the addition of pool tables, ping pong tables, foosball tables and the Midway Express. The Midway Express is a free shuttle service offered by the bowling center that will offer rides between the center and downtown Carlisle. CAEDC awarded $257,000 towards this project, in addition to senior lending financing provided by F&M Trust.

“The goal of this renovation was to create a fun environment for the Carlisle Community and I’m confident that we have accomplished this,” said owner Daniel Mowery. “I want to give thanks to F&M Trust, CAEDC, and the Mowery family for their investment as well as all the employees who have helped with this project.”

Hospitality Asset Management—Through a USDA Loan and the Tourism Infrastructure Loan Fund, CAEDC assisted Hospitality Asset Management with renovations to their 105 room Comfort Suites hotel in downtown Carlisle. Renovations included updating the elevator and guest bathrooms, window treatments and flooring. Keeping up the quality of the hotel will permit it to remain a vital part of the community and it can continue to serve the needs of local businesses and events in the area.

Redevelopment/Reuse

Wheelhouse Properties—The former Carlisle Tire & Wheel building, located at 632 N. College St., Carlisle, has been completely renovated to house high-end apartments. The apartments are a perfect fit for Carlisle with tenants from the Army War College and Dickinson School of Law looking for housing options in the area. CAEDC assisted Wheelhouse Properties with the renovations through a $158,000 loan through the Cumberland Revolving Energy Loan Fund (CRELF), with senior financing provided by Peoples Bank.

“We worked with CAEDC to get a low-interest loan for energy efficiency, so they were able to support us with all the new windows in the building, and they’re one of the highlights of the building,” said Amanda Garner, a partner with Wheelhouse Properties. “It’s a unique old building with very tall windows, and because of CAEDC’s loan we were able to keep those windows intact.”

Professional Services

A Child’s Eyes—A Child’s Eyes, a pediatric optical store serving children’s eyewear, received a $70,000 Community Development Block Grant to move to a bigger store that can offer a larger selection including adult eyewear, sports and performance eyewear, and wholesale and internet sales.

Classic Drycleaners—CAEDC was awarded a $100,000 Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority loan, on behalf of Classic Drycleaners and Laundromats to assist with the removal of inefficient washers and installation of energy-efficient front loading washers and high-efficiency shirt washers to be installed in three of their locations, including East Pennsboro Township, Mechanicsburg Borough and Carlisle Borough.

Manufacturing

Tex Visions—Tex Visions has grown from a small startup company to becoming one of the world’s leading manufacturers of display hardware and custom large format printing. To accommodate for future growth, CAEDC and the Cumberland County Industrial Development Authority provided tax-exempt financing in the amount of $1.2 million to purchase new equipment.

Social Assistance

Harrisburg YMCA—CAEDC assisted the Harrisburg YMCA with securing tax-exempt financing to support costs of renovations, additions and improvements to the program facilities at the East and West Shore branches of the YMCA.

CAEDC continues to seek out ways to grow our loan offerings through various grants. We look forward to continuing to assist the area’s businesses with fixed, low-interest loans. If you’re interested in financing options please contact Laura Potthoff, CAEDC Business Retention and Finance Manager, at 717-240-7197. You can also view our programs at CumberlandBusiness.com.

CAEDC’s New Business-to-Business Events Calendar

CAEDC recently launched our new online events calendar atCumberlandBusiness.com/events. This new calendar is designed to focus on B2B events hosted by our Chambers and downtown organizations as well as many of our area businesses. Our hope is that this new calendar will provide a free opportunity for businesses to promote their events to the business community. We will still maintain our robust tourism-related events calendar at VisitCumberlandValley.com. Please continue to post events to either calendar as appropriate. If you have any questions, please contact CAEDC at 717-240-7198.

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