WOODLAND – When Penn Pallet needed funding for a new grinder at its Woodland facility, Paul McCloskey at Clearly Ahead Development was called upon for help.
McCloskey was able to not only assist with getting a loan through the Clearfield County Industrial Development Authority, but also helped secure the remainder of the funding needed through the North Central Regional Planning & Development Commission.
George Werner, controller at Penn Pallet, explained how McCloskey “set us up” with the CCIDA loan and then helped with the North Central funding.
McCloskey’s sharing of the information about the project with North Central helped Penn Pallet receive the loan more quickly.
“We needed $84,000 for the down payment on the new grinder, which is a lot to take from our business accounts,” Werner said.
The loan application was pushed through in time to have that payment ready.
Penn Pallet received $120,000 from each the CCIDA and North Central. These loans carried a lower than average interest rate.
“A couple (interest) points are a lot for a quarter million dollar loan,” Werner noted.
“The CCIDA often works with other local and regional economic development agencies to assist companies when the funding needs are higher than what the CCIDA can lend on our own,” McCloskey said.
“This was the case recently as we partnered with the North Central Regional Planning & Development Commission to meet the financing needs of Penn Pallet’s recent project.
“Providing a single point of contact to access a variety of low-interest business financing options is an advantage we offer to all the businesses in Clearfield County.”
Penn Pallet, based in St. Marys, was started in 1976 by the Cunningham family. They provide pallets and other products to industries in both the United States and Canada.
In 2004 they expanded with a new site in Woodland that specializes in recycling old pallets.
“Reclaimed pallets are repaired, broken boards replaced, when necessary, and all pallets are cleaned to restore them to like-new condition before being released to the customer,” according to information on pennpallet.com.
The company has been “a leader in wood pallets and pallet management in the Northeast for more than 41 years.”
Penn Pallet is concerned about its impact on the environment. They recycle 100 percent of their wood waste, using it for “heating, landscaping mulch, pressed wood and pet bedding.”
The new grinder will be used to grind up scrap pallets with the resulting product being sold to local businesses, hospitals and schools where most of it is used as a source of heat.
Between their two locations, they sold more than 11,000 tons of ground pallets and sawdust in 2009. In addition, nails and other materials are also recycled.
Currently the Woodland site employs 30 people but there are plans to expand. Production has increased from 20,000 pallets per week to 25,000 each week.
“We are definitely growing in that location,” Werner said adding that the jobs at that location pay from $15 to $20 per hour.
Additional information is available on the Web site www.clearlyahead.com.