MAYVILLE - Two employees of the Weber Knapp Company in Jamestown were approved for an Al Tech loan Thursday to purchase the business from the English conglomerate which owns it.
The loan of up to $800,000 was approved by the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency during a noontime meeting.
Located 441 Chandler St. in Jamestown, Weber Knapp Company employs 130 people - all of whom will be kept, according to Rich Dixon, IDA chief financial officer.
"We're really excited about this," Dixon said of the loan and company purchase. "Their main facility is down on Chandler Street and they also own a beautiful building down on Allen Street in the town of Ellicott, so they plan on keeping everyone and they have the potential to grow now that it has local control."
Together, the two employees purchasing the company have more than 60 years in the business.
"They lead the ergonomics industry with state of the art spring-assisted products," Nixon said.
Online at the company's website, www.weberknapp.com, it says the business is celebrating 100 years of making motion-control systems.
"Our customized hinging mechanisms give your appliances and ergonomic products fluid movement, balance and style," the company boasts.
"How it's been described to me," Nixon said, "is if you think about having a 100-pound secretary lifting a 600-pound computer screen out of the way with her finger because it's all ergonomically on levers and balances. There's no electric required. It's all ergonomic and spring-assisted products."
The Chautauqua County IDA offers a variety of loans to local businesses, including the Al Tech Revolving Loan Fund, from which a number of loans have been lent out to local businesses.
"We currently are lending money at a 4 percent fixed rate," Nixon said. "We have a very aggressive rate. The money came from the Economic Development Administration years ago, originally associated with a loan to the Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation in Dunkirk. When they paid the loan back to the EDA, the EDA said, 'Why don't you guys keep that money and start this loan fund.'"
For more about the company or the IDA loan, visit Weber Knapp at www.weberknapp.com and the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency at www.ccida.