Four County EMC teams with business developer to expand Bladenboro park
A manufacturer will expand production in the Bladenboro Industrial Park thanks to economic assistance from Four County EMC.
The electric cooperative, based in Burgaw, provided $1.3 million in zero-interest loans and grants to Bladen's Bloomin' Agri-Industrial, Inc. (BBAI) for incubator expansion at the industrial park. Expanding the existing 20,000-square-foot incubator bay to 49,200 square feet will allow Superior Media LLC, a non-woven textile manufacturer, to increase production, retain 27 employees and create 7–10 new jobs.
The funding through the USDA Rural Economic Development office (a $1 million loan plus $300,000 grant) will combine with $1.5 million from Superior Media for new equipment and $700,000 value from BBAI's land and existing 20,000-square-foot building to provide the needed $3.5 million to complete the project.
The non-profit BBAI has had an impact in Bladen County since 1990, providing revolving loan funding and commercial real estate expertise. BBAI and Bladen County have helped more than 45 businesses create approximately 1,000 jobs in the area and more than $20 million in a new tax base, pumping money into both local and state economies.
The funding Four County EMC acquired from the USDA will continue to benefit the community, beyond the business incubator expansion. The $300,000 zero-interest grant also serves as a revolving fund for Four County EMC. When repaid, the co-op can then loan funds back into the community for other projects.