Northeast Products seeks to add 25 jobs in Peterborough

  • Bruce Walker of Jaffrey works in the die cutting department on the production floor of Northeast Products in Peterborough.  —Courtesy photo

  • Northeast Products is located in the Monadnock Business Park on Jaffrey Road in Peterborough.  —Courtesy photo

  • Kyle Corriveau of Peterborough, holding one of Northeast Product’s ThermaSeat brand stadium cushions while working in the printing department. —Courtesy photo

  • Northeast Products is located within the Monadnock Business Park on Jaffrey Road.  —Courtesy photo

  • Julie Thoy Sok of Lowell, Massachusetts sits at sewing machine working in in the sewing department of Northeast Products.  Courtesy photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, February 18, 2019 9:10PM

A Peterborough manufacturer could add 25 jobs in the next two years, with assistance from a Community Block Grant Loan.

Peterborough is currently applying for a $500,000 community development block grant from the state’s Community Development Finance Authority. The funds, if Peterborough is approved, would be loaned to Northeast Products, a manufacturer who produces foam seating used by hunters and fisherman, or to insulate stadium seats.

Though it is the town that is officially applying for the grant, the loan would be administered through Monadnock Economic Development Corporation in Keene, which has extensive experience with these kinds of grants, including using them to make loans to businesses in Peterborough, such as Post and Beam Brewery and Nuttin Ordinary, according to MEDC President Jack Dugan.

Northeast Products approached MEDC, interested in being considered for a loan, Dugan said, and MEDC approached Peterborough about applying for the loan.

Northeast Products has been in operation since 1987, Dugan said. In its early years, the company struggled to compete against Chinese imports and manufacturers, and eventually moved its manufacturing overseas. But in the 2000s, it was able to move its facilities back to the United States, opening their facilities on Jaffrey Road in Peterborough.

“Since we moved back, we’ve focused on lean manufacturing and improving our efficiency,” Northeast Products President and CEO Peter Luccisano said in an interview Monday. “By doing so, we’ve been able to provide a competitive price. Now, we have the opportunity to bring in more work, do more business and provide more jobs, but you need capital to do those things.”

“The grant is for companies that will create new full-time jobs or equivalent,” Dugan said.

In fact, the loan is based off projected job growth. A company can borrow up to $20,000 per job they expect to create, up to $500,000.

Northeast Products is proposing to use the $500,000 loan, coupled with bank loans, to make up to $2 million in investments in working capital to expand its business and add 25 new jobs. Under the terms of the grant, the jobs must be full-time, include a benefit package and mostly benefit low and moderate income households.

Luccisano said the growth would more than double his employee base, which is currently at about 20. All the added jobs would be on his manufacturing floor, he said, working in assembly, cutting, sewing or printing.

The loan would be operating capital to cover the increased cost in materials and the new employees, he said.

The company will have to pay back the funds, over the same length of time and interest rate as their bank loans, Dugan explained, and that money will then be re-invested in other economic development opportunities.

“When that money is repaid, it stays in the region to help other economic development opportunities,” Dugan said.

If within two years, the new jobs have not been created, Northeast Products will have to return the funds immediately, which will be returned to the N.H. Community Development Finance Authority.

Before Peterborough can officially apply for the grant, it must hold a public hearing on both the grant application and a community development plan.

Peterborough plans to hold a public hearing on Feb. 19 at 5 p.m. at the Peterborough Town House on the proposed application.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.