News

ECRDA Posts Solid 2nd Quarter Leading to Strongest 1st Half in History

Thursday Jul 6th, 2023

Today, Tina Mengine, CEO of Erie County Redevelopment Authority (ECRDA), announced the ECRDA’s 2023 2nd quarter lending at $2,731,600 secured its first half lending total of $7,585,109 as the strongest in its history. “Congratulations to Chris Groner and his team for once again exceeding expectations. They consistently meet the needs of the business community with quality lending opportunities.”

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“The second quarter of this year saw several start-ups and expansion projects that are really exciting for the community and will pay dividends far into the future”, said Chris Groner, Vice President of Capital Finance & Lending, adding, “two of those brought out of town investors to Erie to plant roots which is particularly exciting”. One of those was Scott and Hannah Neeley of Pittsburgh who purchased Penn Shore Winery & Vineyards. Acccording to Scott, “My new wife and I fell in love with the Northeast/Harborcreek area while renovating our fourth KingView Mead location in Harborcreek, PA. Already owning a commercial winery, our dream opportunity arose to be part of the largest grape growing region this side of the Rockies and to own the first winery in the state of Pennsylvania, Penn Shore Winery & Vineyards.

The opportunity came at a time of rising finance costs for acquisitions as rates skyrocketed late 2022 and into the first half of 2023. Luckily our business loan representative from Northwest bank, had a relationship with Chris Groner, VP of Capital Finance & Lending with the Erie County Redevelopment Authority. Through this relationship, we were able to secure a 3.5% fixed rate 10-year loan that allowed us to close on the purchase of not only Penn Shore, but also allowed us to move to Northeast and start our new family in the area. We are very thankful and excited for what lies ahead as we continue to invest in Erie County and thank the ECRDA and Northwest Bank for helping to make it happen. Within short order we have hired 14 full-time individuals to be part of our new operation and look forward to celebrating life with wine and all of you!”

“This historic lending report solidifies the ECRDA network as the most dynamic and significant public financing program in the region,” said Mengine. The ECRDA network of financing agencies continues to grow its capacity which currently exceeds $55 million.

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