A Pittston-based company has received state funding for its expansion project, assisted by CAN DO, the economic development organization serving businesses in Greater Hazleton and the surrounding region.
Susquehanna Brewing received a $140,000 Small Business First loan from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), which certified CAN DO as anindustrial development corporation (IDC). CAN DO’s role as a certified economic development corporation means that state funding can be channeled through CAN DO. The organization offers financing assistance to all businesses in Luzerne County.
The 10-year loan at 1.75 percent interest will go toward a $340,000 business expansion that will include the purchase of new equipment, such as four new fermenters and automated bottling equipment.
“The expansion will enable us to increase the volume we produce and give us more flexibility in the number of brands we make. We also will have more capability to work with contract brewers, brewing and packaging beer to their specifications,” said Susquehanna Brewing President Ed Maier.
The company heard about CAN DO’s financing program through another client that recommended the organization.
“CAN DO made this project affordable through the loan they secured for us, particularly in the low interest rate and 10-year term,” Maier said.
As state financing typically only finances up to 50 percent of a project, additional funding for this project was necessary. As such, CAN DO coordinated the financing to include the Small Business First loan in addition to two different revolving loan funds offered by NEPA Alliance, one for $90,000 and one for $50,000.
NEPA Alliance President and CEO Jeffrey Box stated that NEPA is a regional community and economic development agency, serving the seven counties of northeastern Pennsylvania including Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill and Wayne. NEPA Alliance services include 11 business financing programs, government contracting assistance, international trade assistance, nonprofit assistance, transportation planning, research and information, and local government services. “We are pleased to partner with CAN DO to provide the finances SBC needs to expand their operations,” Box stated. “The funding NEPA provided was from the Economic Development Administration and the USDA Rural Development,” said Box.
CAN DO Director of Economic Development James Kelshaw said, “While assessing Susquehanna Brewing’s needs, I determined the company needed additional financing to supplement the Small Business First loan and referred them to NEPA Alliance in Pittston. CAN DO’s partnerships with a variety of lending organizations enabled us to help this company receive funding for the majority of its expansion project. This is another facet of the services we provide at CAN DO, as we focus on assisting regional companies with the best products to suit their needs.”
Susquehanna Brewing was established in 2010 by Ed Maier; his son, J. Fred; and Mark Nobile. Maier is a member of the Stegmaier family, a name long associated with brewing in northeastern Pennsylvania. After converting a beer wholesale warehouse into a brewhouse, the company sold its first beer in May of 2012.
Susquehanna Brewing makes five brews all year long and five seasonal brews. The company’s products are sold in bars, restaurants, grocery stores and retail distributors in most of Pennsylvania and all of New Jersey.
The company currently has 14 employees and plans to add five over the next year as a result of the expansion.
CAN DO President Kevin O’Donnell said, “I am pleased that we were able to assist Susquehanna Brewing through our Business Financing program, which serves all of Luzerne County. It’s projects like this that lead to job growth and retention, further stimulating the regional economy.”