SANFORD, N.C. Cameron Testing Inc. and American EPOD have each received a $75,000, low-interest loan for business expansion from a fund administered by the Lee County Economic Development Corp.
The loans come from the Lee County Revolving Loan Fund, a business-development fund created initially through grant from USDA Rural Development, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Money from the fund is loaned to local companies for capital expansion and other initiatives designed to create jobs and enhance local opportunity. As loans are repaid, money in the fund becomes available to assist other companies.
Cameron Testing, one of the loan recipients, is an independent analytical laboratory specializing in testing soil and water samples for a variety of clients, including environmental engineering firms.
Owner and lab manager Chris Cameron says the loan will be used to purchase capital equipment needed to start the new business and provide essential testing services not currently available in the area.
"It takes a lot of money when you start from scratch," Cameron says. "The economic development people have helped me out a lot. Without this type of loan, I couldn't be getting this business going."
American EPOD, the other loan recipient, produces environmentally-friendly generators that operate without gas, oil or other fossil fuels, making them virtually-silent, "zero-emissions" sources of power. Generators are being produced in a manufacturing partnership with Red Wolf Co., a contract manufacturing firm based in Sanford.
President and chief operating officer Tom Eller, says the revolving loan has helped American EPOD expand its portfolio of products and market the business internationally.
"American EPOD is extremely happy that Lee County Economic Development has programs like the revolving loan fund that can help small businesses be successful," Eller says. "We have had an increase in interest in our products internationally that will provide growth in the near future. This growth will be a benefit to Lee County."
The Lee County Economic Development Corp. is a nonprofit organization established to attract industry, enhance job opportunities and promote sound planning across Lee County. Funding is provided by the county, as well as the City of Sanford and Town of Broadway, the county's two municipalities.