This column was originally published in the Gettysburg Times, January 13, 2022.
The start of a new year is a natural time to set goals and priorities, and for many business leaders that means restructuring, diversifying or expanding their business. So I’m devoting today’s column to spreading awareness of three types of loans only available to Adams County businesses through the Alliance—working in conjunction with a local banking partner as well. The programs we administer require the participation of a commercial lender in some capacity, and the Alliance has a great working relationship with many of our region’s banking partners.
First, PIDA loans (which we coordinate through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority), can provide capital for building acquisition, construction and renovation work, machinery and equipment loans. They’re advantageous for several reasons—but the most attractive attributes are their low-interest and fixed rates. For example, current real estate loans financing land, buildings or equipment have a fixed rate of 2.5% for up to 15 years. Those rates are available through March 31, 2022; they reset every quarter.
If you flip through the “News” section of our website, you’ll see many press releases and articles showcasing Adams County businesses we’ve assisted through the years via PIDA loans. Industries served by the PIDA program include manufacturing, agriculture, hospitality, and daycare enterprises, among others.
Secondly, SBA 504 Loans (which we coordinate through our regional Small Business Administration partner) offer long-term, fixed rate financing of up to $5 million for major fixed assets (real estate and equipment) that promote business growth and job creation. The current rates, through the end of January, are as follows: 2.8% for a 10-year loan, 2.89% for a 20-year loan, and 3.03 for a 25-year loan.
We have also assisted several Adams County business with SBA 504 Loans recently—see their stories also under our “News” tab! The SBA 504 program serves industries including manufacturing, distribution, agriculture, and hospitality, to name a few.
I have asked our new legal counsel Tim Anstine to explain our third type of loan, the Next Generation Farmer Loan program. I’m tapping into Tim’s expertise because, during his time serving the Harrisburg area in private practice, he developed a template for the program. Tim went on to work for the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development as Deputy Chief Counsel. Currently, we are thrilled to welcome Tim as legal counsel to two of the Alliance’s organizations, ACEDC and ACIDA. Here’s his overview:
Next Generation Farmer Loans are a type of federally tax-exempt financing offered by the Adams County Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) to allow first-time farmers to obtain a low tax-exempt interest rate from their bank. The first-time farmer benefits from a below market interest rate, usually about 80-85% of the bank’s agricultural loan rate. The term is typically 15-25 years for real estate loans and 5-7 years for equipment and machinery. The borrower works with their bank to receive credit approval terms for their loan. Simultaneously, ACIDA determines eligibility and apply for tax exempt status approval from the Pennsylvania Departments of Community and Economic Development and Agriculture. The borrower closes with the bank when all approvals are in place.
Next Generation Farmer Loans can be used for agricultural land, agricultural improvements (e.g. barns and other structures), and depreciable agricultural property, such as farm machinery. The current maximum loan amount is $558,000. Of that amount, a maximum of $62,500 may be obtained for used equipment, and $250,000 may be used for the purchase of new improvements. No portion of the loan proceeds may be used for the purchase of a residence which must be assessed and financed separately from the farm. Borrowers can combine other loans with the Next Generation Farmer Loan to complete the project financing package.
Lastly, the ACIDA also administers taxable and tax-exempt bond financing for manufacturers and nonprofit organizations that quality. This program also requires the partnership of a local commercial lender, who benefits from the tax exemption by not paying taxes on the interest they earn off of the bonds. In turn, the commercial lender offers the borrower a lower rate on their financing which is typically 75% of the current prime rate. Bond financing typically makes sense with much larger financing projects. Over the years, the ACIDA has facilitated several bond financings for large Adams County employers such as colleges, retirement and continuing care communities, as well as manufacturers.
The Alliance is hosting a free virtual session on February 22 at 10 a.m. to provide more information about these programs. Look for that invitation, coming soon on our social media channels! We look forward to assisting you!
Kaycee Kemper is Vice President of Adams Economic Alliance, which comprises three organizations: The Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), the Adams County Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) and the Adams County General Authority (ACGA). For more information, see adamsalliance.org, or follow us on Twitter (@AdamsAlliance), Facebook (Facebook.com/AdamsAlliance) and LinkedIn (Adams Economic Alliance).