Loans boost county economic development


Dec. 1, 2015

Between 2011-14, Economic Development Washington County helped area businesses create 1,881 jobs that generated $131.2 million in wages and $450 million in sales, according to a report given by its Executive Director, Christian Tscheschlok, to a county committee Monday morning.

Tscheschlok shared the EDWC’s semi-annual report with members of the Washington County Executive Committee.

More than a dozen industries and businesses have participated in the EDWC’s Revolving Loan Fund program, Tscheschlok said, benefiting from low interest rates and flexible terms.

“The program is overseen by a committee that is aligned with, but separate from, the county,” Patrick Thomey, Revolving Loan Fund chairman, told the committee. “We have confidentiality and conflict of interest statements in place and while the makeup of the committee is not disclosed, it has bankers, legal counsel and business and county members.”

Thomey said the committee uses criteria to rank companies applying for revolving loans, such as their financial condition, debt, management quality, collateral, industry strength and economic indicators.

“We tend to shy away from start-ups, retail and non-for-profits,” Thomey said.

A diagram shown during the EDWC presentation to the committee showed that of the businesses served, 57 percent already existed, with 62 percent in manufacturing, 23 percent in technology, 8 percent in food and beverage and 7 percent in the bio-medical field.

Tscheschlok said the target company for a revolving loan is one that seeks to further leverage or apply in new ways either an established or proven competitive advantage.

“There have been no write-offs since the revolving loan program began seven years ago,” Tscheschlok said.