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IDA loans will return 80 jobs to Batavia shoe factory

BATAVIA – A pair of $367,000 loans from the Genesee County’s industrial development agency will help P.W. Minor shoe factory reach its objective of complete “made in America” status, the company’s president said Tuesday.

“Our goal is to get 100 percent out of China and get back to where every product with the P.W. Minor brand name is made right here in Batavia,” President Andrew J. Young said.

Equipment purchases and upgrades are expected to result in 80 new jobs within two years of the investment, with the majority of these jobs being available to low- and moderate-income persons.

“We have seen success in our initial efforts and we are already well on our way to creating the jobs we have committed to,” Young said, adding that the company is accepting job applications at its office at 3 Treadeasy Ave.

“We are proud to be bringing jobs from China back to our community. The people at this factory deserve it.”

Directors of the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation authorized the loans to assist P.W. Minor with its $3.625 million capital improvement plan.

The GGLDC board voted to be the conduit between P.W. Minor and Genesee County, which applied for a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant from the state Office of Community Renewal on the company’s behalf.

Genesee County Manager Jay A. Gsell said the loan commitment letter was received last week and “the grant paperwork and contract should be forthcoming soon.”

After deducting $16,000 in administrative and delivery costs, the remaining $734,000 will be divided with half as a grant and the other half as a loan. The loan, however, would become a grant as long as P.W. Minor achieves its stated goals in the areas of projected expenditures, job creation and compliance.

“It’s a deferred loan with a term to it but it also includes a forgiveness provision if the company meets their requirements and completes the project in the way they said they would,” said Harry R. Sicherman, an independent grant consultant from Buffalo.

The majority of the funding for P.W. Minor’s project is a $2.75 million term loan for machinery and equipment purchases from The Bank of Castile. The shoe company also will receive a $125,000 loan from the GGLDC’s revolving loan fund, and $450,000 in tax credits from the state’s Excelsior Jobs Program.

P.W. Minor is focused on establishing local production capability and capacity to reduce its reliance on Asian imported goods. Last August, Young and Peter Zeliff bought the floundering company, which was founded in 1867 as P.W. Minor & Sons. Since then, they have invested $2 million and retained 55 jobs, while doubling in-house production, reducing production time from 25 to five days and adding 16 new full-time jobs.

In other action, the Genesee County Economic Development Corporation approved $170,000 in tax incentives for a $1.3 million expansion project by the construction firm of Manning Squires Hennig, which is located on Seven Springs Road in the Town of Batavia.

The company plans to expand its warehouse and office, and close its office in Rochester.