One company’s failure could translate into another firm doubling its size with the help of an economic development loan from Montgomery County.
A committee of county supervisors will consider approving a $300,000 loan for Embassy Millwork, a former Schenectady County business that followed up on news Universal Custom Millwork Inc. was in trouble.
UCMI went into arrears on an economic development loan, owing $135,866 on $240,000 it borrowed from the county in 2007 when it went out of business last year and stopped operating at the Edson Street Industrial Park on Sam Stratton Road in the city.
The news caught the attention of Embassy Millwork, a company operating out of a Glenville site too small to accommodate growth plans.
There aren’t many facilities in the region with woodworking equipment, Embassy Millwork president Michael J. Caruso said, so “it’s just a perfect match for us.”
“The one benefit for us is that this was a woodworking production shop to begin with,” he said.
Despite the struggling economy, Embassy Millwork has found a niche in catering to institutions like colleges and universities, and interest in the custom lockers Embassy makes for athletic facilities is growing, he said.
“Even though times are tough, people seem to want to go to the health clubs to make themselves feel better,” Caruso said.
Montgomery County Economic Development Director Ken Rose said the debt UCMI owed the county’s revolving loan fund has since been paid off.
He said Montgomery County doesn’t try to entice businesses to leave Schenectady County as an economic development tool — Embassy Millwork started the discussion upon learning about UCMI’s demise.
The cabinet-maker’s closure left as many as 60 people jobless, and it is hoped that these workers skilled in woodworking will find a good paying job with Embassy Millwork.
“It’s going to help offset some of that employment loss from UCMI,” Rose said.
Some small businesses are able to grow in the current climate, but for others, funding for expansion is tight, Rose said: “Let’s face it, the credit markets are still tough.”
According to terms of the economic development loan agreement, Embassy will borrow $300,000 at an interest rate of 4.25 percent payable in 84 monthly installments.
The company expects to more than double its current staff of 16, adding 17 new positions within the next three years.
If this loan is approved, the county’s revolving loan fund will still have about $1.2 million available to lend, Rose said.
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