Petrarca: $3 million in low-interest loans will help local businesses expand

WESTMORELAND, July 12 – Low-interest loans to two area businesses will help those companies expand to meet growing customer demand while creating or retaining about 125 area jobs, according to state Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana. The companies – Astley Precision Machine Co. Inc. and Zilka & Company, LLC – will receive just over $3 million.

“It’s always great news when area businesses need to expand to meet growing customer demand, but the costs of expansion – which usually entails new construction or extensive renovation – can be a heavy financial burden,” Petrarca said. “The low-interest loans approved today will help ensure these companies, which are so well-rooted in our community and give so much back in terms of jobs and economic health, will continue to thrive and expand.”

The loans and expansion projects are:

  • Astley Precision Machine Co. Inc. This maker of precision machined components for the medical, scientific and defense industries was approved for a $1.05 million, 10-year loan with 20-year amortization at a 2.5 percent rate with a 5-year reset through Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland. The company has outgrown its current 17,000-square-foot facility and will require a larger facility to meet customer demand. The loan will enable the company to acquire and renovate a 51,000-square-foot building in Irwin, two miles from the current site. The company will also lease 15,000 square feet of the site to Emsco Distributors Co., a swimming pool and accessories manufacturer. The project is expected to retain 34 full-time jobs and create 11 new, full-time jobs within three years.

  • Zilka & Company, LLC. This family-owned bakery supplier was approved for a $2 million, 10-year loan with 20-year amortization at a 2.75 percent rate with a 5-year reset through Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland. The company’s customer base has expanded to include manufacturing facilities and supermarkets. The loan will enable the company to construct a 62,000-square-foot facility located in Hempfield Township. The project is expected to create 12 new jobs and retain 68 jobs in the next three years.

The loans are made through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority. In 2018, PIDA has approved $61.3 million in low-interest loans statewide that have resulted in $83 million in private investment and supported 3,247 created and retained full-time jobs.