The Greater Berks Development Fund (GBDF), affiliated with the Greater Reading Chamber and Economic Development Corporation (GRCEDC), has announced that the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) approved $2,260,000 in financing for six economic development loans for Berks County businesses at its February 1 meeting.
Oswaldsmill Audio (OMA): OMA was founded in 2007 and manufactures high end audio equipment, which includes stereo speakers, turntables, amplifiers, cables, and stereo cabinets. PIDA’s approval of a $285,000 loan will assist the company’s expansion with the acquisition and renovation of a 44,000 sf building which was the former Paul Frederick Shirt Company facility at 26 East Locust Street in Fleetwood.
B. P. Shirey Turkey Farm, Inc.: PIDA approved a $400,000 loan that will assist with the construction financing of two houses for turkey production. Each poultry house will contain 44,100 sf. on a 76 acre farm at 6359 Boyertown Pike, Douglassville.
Wanner Farms, LLC: This PIDA project provides $400,000 in financing for the acquisition of two farms, totaling approximately 136 acres. The farms are located at 15011 Kutztown Road, Maxatawny Township and at 14162 Kutztown Road, Richmond Township. Wanner Farms, LLC specializes in crop farming corn and soybeans.
Robert Wolf: PIDA’s loan will assist Robert Wolf in the acquisition of a 59 acre crop farm in Bethel Township for $375,000. The farm is used for growing corn and soybeans.
David and Cindy Wolfskill: A $400,000 loan was approved to acquire 76 acres of cropland along Lincoln Road in South Heidelberg Township. This acquisition will assist in crop production to support the Wolfskill dairy business, which is one of the largest dairy farms in Berks County with over 300 milking cows.
Joshua and Joyce Zimmerman d/b/a Wind Crest Poultry: PIDA’s $400,000 loan approval will assist in the construction of two poultry houses at 120 Leiby Road, Hamburg. Each bird house will contain 44,025 sf and will be used for an egg laying operation.
Christopher S. Witmer, Director of Project Development Fund for GRCEDC commented, “As evidenced through these loan approvals, the GBDF continues its strong and effective working relationship with Berks County’s agriculture community, having assisted some 50 agriculture-related businesses. This complements the recently announced Berks County Commissioners allocation of $1.02 MM to the Berks County Agricultural Land Preservation Board for farmland preservation in 2017.”
About the PIDA
PIDA is a state authority established in 1956 and is managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The GBDF is the PIDA Certified Economic Development Organization that serves Berks County. Through GBDF’s affiliation with the Greater Reading Chamber and Economic Development Corporation (GRCEDC), which also includes the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Greater Reading Economic Partnership, it is in a much better position to market its loan programs to area businesses.