LEWISBURG -- Significant amounts of Small Business Association loan money soon will flow to three businesses, thanks to unanimous votes of approval Wednesday by the SEDA-Council of Governments board.

Michael J. and Lois Purcell, of Lewisburg, had two loans approved, a $472,500 Small Business Association 504 loan and a $200,000 Small Business First Loan, both requested to assist in financing the acquisition of the Bull Run Inn, Puirseil's Irish Pub and Park View Catering.

The term of the SBA loan is 20 years, at an interest rate to be determined when the bond is sold. The SBF loan has a term of 13 years at a fixed interest rate of 5 percent. The overall financing for the Bull Run purchase is $1.8 million.

The Purcells employ eight full-time and 20 part-time employees. They said they'll retain those employees and create four jobs in the next two years and five jobs within three years.

Zane and Peggy Jo Martin, of Danville, were approved for a $200,000 SEDA-COG First Industries Fund Agriculture loan. The Martins plan to build two 48-by-500 foot broiler houses on their property. Terms of the loan are 15 years at 4 percent. First Industries Agriculture loans do not require job creation.

M&R Lawn Service, of Winfield, had a five-year $32,000 SBA micro loan approved.

In other business, program analyst Brian Auman explained why the SEDA-COG staff was requesting approval of a grant application that would be submitted to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for the Community River Sports Park.

"The funds would be used to evaluate four potential sites in Northumberland and Snyder counties to locate a rowing boathouse and to design riverfront park recreational amenities," he said. "We're looking at very visible areas that will stimulate tourism."

The grant application is being submitted by SEDA-COG on behalf of the Central Pennsylvania Rowing Association.

Gary Bloss, executive director of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, gave a status report.

"The organization's importance to the community is still not recognized by the general public," he began. "After all, what is a greenway? People don't know. In fact, it is a public-private partnership dedicated to connecting communities and enriching lives in the area."

Greenway's call-to-action, Mr. Bloss said, "aims at multiple benefits to the region, including economic development, community revitalization, environmental stewardship, enhanced recreation and healthy living opportunities."

Two new staff members were introduced, SEDA-COG loan officer Tim Kishbach and Susquehanna Greenway development officer Trish Carothers.

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