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Thursday, Sep 28, 2023


WADE DANIELS Staff Reporter Two Valley manufacturers are set to create at least 140 new jobs now that the state has agreed to provide them with $7.2 million in low-interest expansion capital. Northridge-based automation equipment maker Delta Tau Data Systems Inc. is borrowing $5 million under the state’s industrial development bond program, and North Hills-based Challenge Graphics Corp. will obtain about $2.2 million. Under the industrial development bond program, companies are eligible for loans of up to $10 million if they can demonstrate that the capital infusion would create jobs. The loans are made for periods as long as 30 years at interest rates as low as three-quarters of prime terms more favorable than bank financing. “Our rate is probably two full points below what we would have gotten otherwise, which is a big savings,” said Dimitri S. Dimitri, president of Delta Tau Data, which is using its loan to buy a new facility and to more than double the size of its current 100-person workforce. Sally Ritter, vice president of Challenge Graphics, said her company ended up with an annual interest rate of about 5.5 percent, as opposed to the roughly 8 percent it would have gotten from other funding sources. The two Valley firms were among the very last of about 30 companies whose applications for funding were approved this year, before the industrial development bond funding ran out. “The program is popular, and so the funds available run out fast each year,” said Roger Wildermuth, a spokesman for state Treasurer Matt Fong, who oversees the program. The two Valley companies may have had a boost in their bids for bond funds from a letter that L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan wrote to Gov. Pete Wilson urging his aid in seeing that the proposals be approved. Dan Margolis, a spokesman for the Mayor’s Office, said Riordan found out that there was a limited amount of funding left for the year and wanted to help make sure the two Valley companies succeeded. “These companies wanted to create some high-paying jobs that could benefit their communities,” Margolis said. Dimitri said the jobs created at his company will pay between $10 and $40 per hour, and Ritter said her company’s new jobs will pay an average of $17 an hour. The state bond program was started in 1981 to support established manufacturers that have growth potential. In 1997, it provided $158 million in financing to 39 California companies, leading to the creation of more than 4,100 jobs, Wildermuth said.

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