Rural Business Reveives $4.5 Million for Revitalization of Chicken Processing Plant
Pine Bluff, Arkansas – October 2020 –
As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, many businesses have taken advantage of the opportunity to restructure capital and operations. North Avenue Capital, one of the leading providers of USDA-backed commercial loans, recently closed a loan to finance the relaunching of a chicken processing facility in rural Arkansas for Cornerstone Processing, LLC.
With a sense of optimism and enthusiasm for an economic recovery, North Avenue Capital has been continuing its efforts to finance rural businesses around the United States prior to and throughout the recent health crisis. The $4.5 million loan to Cornerstone Processing will go toward funding working capital, soft costs, and equipment upgrades and purchases associated with revitalizing the plant.
Cornerstone PB Holdings, LLC purchased an existing facility in Pine Bluff, Arkansas with the intent to restart the plant, which processes spent hens sourced from egg producers nearby. Spent hens have posed as an economic and social problem for egg producers because they have to be removed from production when they no longer produce eggs at a viable rate. By introducing a processing plant, it removes the negative effects associated with previous procedures and gives Cornerstone the opportunity to supply its product primarily into the international cuisine market, both domestically and abroad.
With there being only two other spent hen processors in the country, Cornerstone has the ability to capture business in the region and provide employment opportunities to its local and neighboring communities. The loan will provide roughly 150 jobs upon opening in the Spring of 2021, which will undoubtedly help the economic status in the Pine Bluff area, which is highly dependent on agriculture.
The management team is comprised of Clifton M. Dugas II, Jay Watkins, Iyas Sawas, and Stacey Kesler. This group of dynamic leaders with a diverse set of professional backgrounds ranging from real estate to commercial banking to construction renovation to plant operations will bring experience in every discipline necessary to bring the upgraded plant to life.