PIDA: Investing in Pennsylvania’s Industrial Enterprises

Pennsylvania’s Industrial Enterprises

As part of the Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) mission to grow and sustain business development across the commonwealth, it offers various funding programs. One such program, the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA), provides low-interest loans and lines of credit to businesses that commit to creating and retaining full-time jobs, and for the development of industrial parks and multi-tenant facilities. In 2020, PIDA has approved $12,476,775 in low-interest loans that have resulted in $28,840,802 in private investment and supported 933 created and retained full-time jobs.

To learn how the PIDA program has enabled companies to grow in the state, we spoke to Lebanon Valley Cold Storage and Strasburg Rail Road about their experience and what the PIDA funding has meant to their businesses.

Lebanon Valley Cold Storage

Owned by Bake Crafters Food Company, Harrisburg-based Lebanon Valley Cold Storage & Distribution Center serves as a refrigerated warehouse and distribution center for the company’s wholesale baked goods. Selling large quantities of frozen bread to school districts in 47 states, the facility Lebanon Valley currently leases in Pennsylvania is a prime spot for collecting and shipping products.

Over the past five years, Bake Crafters has doubled sales, thanks to its quality product and dedicated sales force. To accommodate this growth, Lebanon Valley Cold Storage & Distribution Center recognized the need to find a larger space. The company wanted to stay in Pennsylvania because of its central location, and found a warehouse in Lebanon County that was large enough to meet and exceed current demands.

Partnering with the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) and the Governor’s Action Team, Lebanon Valley Cold Storage & Distribution Center was awarded a $2 million PIDA loan in June 2016. A few months later, the company started construction on its 22.83-acre site, a move that will add 131 new, full-time jobs over the next three years.

“By building a facility and becoming part of Lebanon County, we are looking to help build this community.”
– Marlene Kreidler, Director of Business Development of Lebanon Valley Cold Storage & Distribution Center

Along with jobs, the facility will bring parallel businesses in the region an opportunity to grow and expand, spurring economic development in Lebanon County and beyond.

“By building a facility and becoming part of Lebanon County, we are looking to help build this community,” said Marlene Kreidler, director of business development of Lebanon Valley Cold Storage & Distribution Center. “We’re excited to provide good-paying jobs and opportunities for other companies to increase their capacity — ultimately, we hope to increase the standard of living in this region.”

Strasburg Rail Road

Nestled in the heart of Lancaster County, the Strasburg Rail Road carries approximately 300,000 tourists per year on its antique cars through the rolling countryside. What many people don’t know is that the Rail Road is also home to a growing contracting business, serving as a repair and maintenance shop for historic passenger cars and steam locomotives.

“This PIDA funding will enable us to grow our repair shop and maintain the Rail Road’s mission for many years to come.”
– Linn Moedinger, President and Chief Mechanical Officer of Strasburg Rail Road

Over the past 50 years, the maintenance shop has become widely known for its world-class work. In the last few years, Strasburg outgrew its current shop and started to consistently turn away potential clients because of insufficient capacity.

Strasburg knew it needed to increase space and manpower, so the company started planning for an expanded facility, which included applying for a PIDA loan through the EDC Finance Corporation. In June 2016, PIDA awarded Strasburg a $765,000, 15-year loan at 2.25 percent for the first seven years. This loan amounted to half of Strasburg’s projected investment for the $1.53 million expansion, allowing the Rail Road to move forward with the project.

Once complete, the project will add 12,000 square feet to the existing 18,000-square-foot facility, create seven full-time jobs, and retain 46 existing positions.

“As the nation’s oldest railroad that is still operating under the original charter from 1832, everything we do works to secure this legacy and preserve railroading as it was around the turn of the 20th century,” said Linn Moedinger, president and chief mechanical officer of Strasburg Rail Road. “This PIDA funding will enable us to grow our repair shop and maintain the Rail Road’s mission for many years to come.”

To learn more about PIDA and how you can apply, visit the DCED website. Continue to stay up-to-date with all of Pennsylvania’s latest news and program announcements by signing up for our monthly e-newsletter or following us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


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