Clearfield authority approves reduction in interest rates

CLEARFIELD — The Clearfield County Industri­al Development Authority has taken a step to help local businesses looking to expand or renovate.

Authority members re­cent­ly approved a “drastic” reduction in their interest rates for commercial loans, according to Rob Swales, CEO of Clearly Ahead Development.

Previously the rate was the prime lending rate, which is currently 4.5 percent, but the group lowered that to a fixed rate of 3.25 percent to help local businesses.

“We’d like to get more money circulating among the local businesses,” Swales said in a statement.

The loans of up to $100,000 can be used for any manufacturing, industrial, commercial or warehousing companies located in Clearfield County.

Possible uses include purchasing real estate, new construction, renovations, the replacement of machinery and working capital. Terms on the loans will vary with the type of use. Businesses must contribute 10 percent of the money to the project themselves.

This is an ongoing loan program that has been lending out money since the 1960s, Swales said. Currently, 14 different businesses are utilizing the program.

Local manufacturers have used these funds to purchase new equipment, to expand or renovate and other efforts to help them grow.

The process of applying for a loan is similar to those of the local banks with over three years of financial records submitted with the application. Depending on the project, it should also include sales agreements, proposals and a business plan.

This money can be available fairly quickly.

“We can have a 30- to 45-day turnaround time,” Swales said.