Through Greater Reading Chamber Alliance’s affiliate organization, the Greater Berks Development Fund (GBDF), we are able to assist in your financing needs. As the only Certified Economic Development Organization in Berks County, GBDF is able to access funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Community Development and other sources to help your business grow and succeed.
GBDF has been in existence since 1947 and has a long history of providing financial assistance to Berks County companies. In addition to the funding that we directly administer, we also partner with other organizations to provide the most attractive package for your project needs. We have utilized federal, state and local grant and loan programs to structure creative financing packages.
Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA)
PIDA provides low-interest loans for eligible businesses and is directly administered by GBDF. A variety of different industry sectors may access PIDA financing including manufacturing, industrial, agricultural, research and development, hospitality, defense conversion, recycling, construction, child daycare, retail and service, export and computer-related service enterprises.
PIDA financing can be used for land and building acquisition, construction and renovation costs, machinery and equipment purchases and working capital.
Examples of past projects:
GBDF assisted Fisher Farm Fresh Produce of Oley Township when they wanted to purchase a nearby farm. A PIDA loan of $375,000 was part of the $750,000 project which allowed for the acquisition of land to augment the home farm.
GBDF has been an integral part of the success of Custom Processing Services (CPS) since its inception over 20 years ago. Beginning with the company’s purchase of its first building in Exeter Township, GBDF has been able to provide PIDA financing to the company to support its growth. CPS now has a campus of three buildings and is an industry leader as a custom toll processor (particle size reduction, milling, grinding, blending, etc.)
When B&G Glass identified a new building for its expansion needs, they turned to GBDF to help with the acquisition. GBDF provided a $1,000,000 PIDA loan to assist with the $2 million project, which allowed the company to relocate to a much larger facility. B&G provides glass repair, glass replacement, custom design and glass installation for commercial and residential clients.
Interest Rate options
First quarter interest rate options for qualifying PIDA loan applications are listed below. These rates are in effect for loan applications received through Dec. 31, 2023.
For Real estate loans financing eligible land and building costs, borrowers will have the following interest rate options:
For term loans with a regular amortization:
- Fixed interest rate for the full term of the loan (up to a 15-yr. period), set at the current 10-year treasury yield + 100 basis points. Based on the current 10-year treasury yield, the fixed rate option is 5.50% for the life of the loan.
- Fixed interest rate for a seven (7) year period set at the 10-year treasury yield. After seven years, the rate will reset to the then-current 10-year treasury yield. Please note, the reset rate is limited to a 200 basis point increase/decrease. The reset rate is then fixed for the duration of the loan. Based on the current 10-year treasury yield, the rate for the initial (7) year period is 4.5%.
For 10-year term loans with a 20-year amortization period:
- Fixed interest rate for the full term of the loan (10-yr. period). This option is calculated using the 10-year treasury yield +100 basis points. Based on the current 10-year treasury yield, the fixed rate option is 5.50% for the life of the loan.
- Fixed interest rate for a five (5) year period set at the 10-year treasury yield. After five years, the rate will reset to the then-current 10-year treasury yield. Please note, the reset rate is limited to a 200 basis point increase/decrease. The reset rate is then fixed for the duration of the loan. Based on the current 10-year treasury yield, the rate for the initial (5) year period is 4.50%.
5.50% fixed rate for the full term of the loan.
Working capital and accounts receivable lines of credit:
5.50% fixed rate for 12-month period.
For Pollution prevention and energy efficiency loans:
2.00% fixed rate for the full term of the loan.
How Do I Apply?
The first step is to contact us to discuss your project. By learning more about your company and its needs, we can identify the financing products that are best for your project.
To proceed to the application stage, the following information is needed:
Company Financial Statements
Personal Financial Statements (unless company has $5+ million net worth)
In addition to the PIDA, we also have access to the SBA 504 program. In past projects, we have partnered with the Southeastern Economic Development Company of Pennsylvania (Seedcopa) for SBA funding. GBDF (PIDA) and SBA 504 can participate on projects to offer companies an extremely attractive financing package.
Example of a past project:
The Plum Creek project in Penn Township, Berks County, is a great example of combining both PIDA and SBA 504. The owners of Plum Creek demolished its existing building and constructed a 12,000-square-foot market that allowed for an expanded area for produce sales, and food/ice cream production. The total cost was $3.4 million, with a PIDA loan of $1 million, SBA 504 loan of $1.38 million, bank financing and equity for the balance. The new building also allows for the market to operate all year round, instead of seasonal with the old building.
Community First Fund (CFF)
Both GBDF and CFF are both Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and we have worked together on projects, leveraging each other’s resources. Typically, these projects are challenging and involve the participation of different resources.
Example of a past project:
Located at 4th and Elm Streets in Reading, the SuperNatural Produce project is an example of the combination of different programs to have former dilapidated buildings redeveloped. The $6+ million complex financing structure involved direct loans, loan guarantees, federal funds and equity for the mixed-use project.