Brookings gets innovative seafood processing plant

By: - Aug 27, 2016
Source: The World Link

BC Fisheries owner Mike Manning cut the ribbon Aug. 19 on a $9.6 million seafood processing facility that will benefit southern Oregon coast crabbers and shrimpers.

The facility will create 30 new jobs, eliminate the need for long-distance shipping of locally-caught seafood for processing, and is the first of its kind to use cool steam technology on the West Coast. 

Established in 2007, BC Fisheries is a family-owned company that ships cold-water pink shrimp and crab worldwide, offloading about 1.5 million pounds per month. It was unable to process shrimp locally though, leading to high transportation costs.

A $6.3 million loan from Craft3, a nonprofit that makes loans for business development, allowed BC Fisheries to build an insulated processing building next to the docks at the Port of Brookings Harbor, purchase equipment, and have adequate working capital. The new facility will be able to process up to 2.4 million pounds of shrimp per month.

“After two years of hard work, we’re thrilled to cut the ribbon on a beautiful new processing facility," said Manning in a statement. "It was only possible with the support of our many financial partners, as well as Sens. Jeff Kruse and Betsy Johnson, and Rep. Wayne Krieger, who were great advocates for this project and are seeing it through to completion.

"But most of all, we’d like to thank the community. Your support means that millions of pounds of locally-caught and -processed Oregon pink shrimp can be eaten around the world. It is exciting to know it is shipped from our hometown of Brookings-Harbor.

Craft3 specializes in lending for projects that can benefit communities but that have difficulty attracting conventional lenders. “Unlike traditional lenders, Craft3 was able to creatively structure the BC Fisheries deal and embed a USDA guarantee within the New Markets Tax Credit structure. The Mannings are creating a positive impact on their community, and Craft3 is proud to be their partner on this transformative and sustainable asset that keeps fishing and processing local,” said Adam Zimmerman, President & CEO of Craft3.

The Craft3 loan was partially guaranteed by USDA Rural Development, and also had financial support from The Oregon Community Foundation, Ford Family Foundation, and U.S. Bank. Critical additional capital for the project was provided through a state New Markets Tax Credit allocation by Business Oregon to Petros-Pacesetter, which then attracted outside investment capital from Capital One.

“Access to capital is essential for any business to grow and succeed, but financing can be difficult to obtain in small, rural communities,” said USDA Rural Development state director Vicki Walker. “A USDA Business and Industry loan guarantee enabled Craft3 to extend additional credit for this project, which will provide a vital facility for the region, build economic prosperity, and create jobs.”

"The growth of the seafood processing industry is critical to the long-term economic competitiveness of the south coast,” said Chris Harder, director of Business Oregon. “The state's investment in BC Fisheries through the New Market Tax Credit program enabled the company to invest in new equipment and design a state-of-the-art facility, ultimately leading to new, quality jobs."

“Petros-Pacesetter was pleased to provide an $8 million allocation of Oregon New Market Tax Credits for this project. NMTCs are key to supporting rural investment, and we were proud to use them here to invest in BC Fisheries and the Oregon South Coast community,” said Jim Stanislaus, Managing Director of Petros-Pacesetter, a joint venture between Petros Partners and Pacesetter CDE, Inc.

The ribbon-cutting was attended by Harder; Walker; State Sen. Jeff Kruse; State Rep. Wayne Krieger; representatives of financing partners Craft3, Petros-Pacesetter, and Capital One and other members of the community.