GETTYSBURG, PA (Oct. 16, 2020) –Adams County has a new childcare center—Caterpillar Clubhouse, owned and operated by Melissa and Joseph Cavey through JaMaCavey, LLC—thanks in great part to a low-interest $275,000 state loan facilitated by Adams Economic Alliance that spurred the adaptive reuse of Fairfield’s former Metz Hardware store.
The loan, processed through the Alliance’s Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) and the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA), in partnership with M&T Bank, assisted JaMaCavey, LLC’s purchase of the property located at 103-105 West Main Street. The loan’s interest rate is fixed at 2.75% over 15 years.
“There is a significant shortage of childcare providers in Adams County,” said Robin Fitzpatrick, Alliance President. “We could not be more supportive and excited to see this commercial daycare center project through to fruition. Melissa Cavey and Caterpillar Clubhouse are fulfilling a much-needed void in the Adams County community, with ripple effects that impact our economy and workforce.”
Caterpillar Clubhouse, which opened its doors in early October, will be providing a full range of childcare and curriculum to infants through school-age children. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the center was projecting the creation of 22 full-time jobs and care for 150 children—a mix of full-time daycare plus after-school care—all within the first three years. Those numbers may be impacted by current health and safety guidelines. Summer camps and additional enrichment opportunities will also be available.
“It’s so exciting, it gives me butterflies,” said Melissa. “This is something I’ve thought about doing for a long time. I’ve always known there’s been a need in Adams County, and parents have been reaching out, excited to have childcare so close and convenient.”
The center’s initial launch by a dozen staff members is following all COVID-19 protocols outlined by the state.
The Caveys settled on the former hardware store property last December. As soon as word got out about the planned childcare center, Melissa had a waiting list of about 30 families, with 40 children, in need of care. Melissa, an area preschool teacher for 16 years, is also part-owner at The Growing Patch, Fairfield.
“It’s especially satisfying to see a new business launch, from the start-up phase, through completion and opening,” said Kaycee Kemper, Alliance Vice President. “The fact that this project utilized and rehabilitated a former small business property is a plus. Seeing Metz Hardware reborn as Caterpillar Clubhouse is a positive sign of renewal.”
Melissa worked with Alliance partner, The Small Business Development Center at Shippensburg University, to create a business plan for Caterpillar Clubhouse.
“The experience of working with the Alliance and securing this loan—the process was relatively easy, and the word that comes to mind is ‘success,’” Melissa said. “Operating a daycare, you have to love kids like they were your own. And the encouragement we received from the Alliance, to be part of Adams County’s economic plan and to be able to hire staff and help families here—I feel like this loan is such a blessing.”
The Caterpillar Clubhouse loan marks the 149th low-interest business loan facilitated by ACEDC since 1996. Also since 1996, ACEDC has secured $31 million+ in total public investment via low-interest loans and grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and $81 million+ in total private investment via local commercial financing.
ACEDC is certified annually by DCED in order to process and administer loan and grant programs for Adams County’s businesses including those in the agricultural sector. Kemper encourages Adams County’s farmers, agribusinesses, manufacturers, aspiring entrepreneurs as well as established businesses to contact her regarding all potential loan and grant opportunities. Kemper can be reached at the Alliance at 717-334-0042, ext. 2.
It is the mission of the Adams Economic Alliance to develop and implement creative community-based strategies to enhance economic opportunity and foster a dynamic framework for balanced growth and development through the Adams County Economic Development Corporation, Adams County Industrial Development Authority and Adams County General Authority.
MEDIA CONTACT: KAREN HENDRICKS / HENDRICKS COMMUNICATIONS / 717-253-3553