Joe Corbi's receives loan for expansion BDC funds aid city small businesses

June 28, 1996|By Abbe Gluck | Abbe Gluck,SUN STAFF

Joe Corbi's Wholesale Pizza Inc. said yesterday that it received a $500,000 loan from the Baltimore Development Corp., enabling the pizza-kit maker to add 200 jobs over the next year and expand its operations.

BDC financed the loan through its revolving loan fund, which aids growing small businesses in Baltimore. Corbi's received "below market-rate financing" of 7 percent over seven years, said Jeffrey Pillas, vice president of finance for the quasi-public economic development agency.

For this type of loan, BDC targets companies that will bring more jobs to the city, Pillas said.

Corbi's expansion will result in 50 new jobs in September and 150 over the next year, said John Paletar, Corbi's general manager.

The company also may open another plant in about a year if Corbi's expansion into new markets is successful, Paletar said. While Corbi's is considering locations in Baltimore and Pennsylvania, BDC's support has made the company more likely to expand further in the city, he said.

Most of the jobs created from the BDC loan will be in production, with wages at around $7.50 an hour, Paletar said. The company currently employs 192 people.

The loan will enable Corbi's to add 12,000 square feet to its 33,600 square-foot space in the DeSoto Road Business Park in southwest Baltimore. The expansion will allow the company to increase production by as much as 150 percent, Paletar said. Corbi's currently makes 50,000 pizza crusts daily, he said.

Corbi's manufactures pizza kits and sells them to nonprofit organizations, such as schools and churches, for fund-raising purposes.

A typical kit, which customers buy for $8 and usually sell for $13, comes with three crusts, cheese, sauce, and a topping.

Corbi's sells in 12 states, but said it plans to expand both south of the Carolinas and into New England.

"We are somewhat unique, so wherever we go, we tend to dominate the market," Paletar said.

Pub Date: 6/28/96

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