DERBY LINE – A Derby Line manufacturing plant is getting an economic boost from the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA). The help comes in the form of low-interest loans to repair and replace equipment and perform maintenance on the building.
VEDA’s original charter was about increasing employment but now a large part is about retaining employment in the current economy. About 180 people work at Tivoly.
Since VEDA is not-for-profit, interest rates are about 2 to 2.5 percent. Combining that rate and a regular market rate loan from Community National Bank, Tivoly gets a good deal.
“It’s a tremendous thing,” said Graham Rae, Tivoly CFO. “We’ve partnered with VEDA for quite a few years now.”
Tivoly has applied for and received VEDA money for the past three or four years. The company only borrows the money after it spends it. Tivoly also has to contribute some money. The total amount of this year’s expenditures will be about $700,000.
“It’s important, especially for a manufacturer, to invest in the plant and equipment every year,” said Rae. “There is constant maintenance on the building and maintenance and improvement on the equipment.”
Ken Armstrong from Lyndonville was repairing the plant’s chimney Friday afternoon. Besides repairing the chimney, Tivoly is rebuilding some of its equipment.
The primary use of the money is for equipment, but Rae pointed out it’s important to maintain the facility.
“Some of our machines here are 40 to 60 years old and they have to be rebuilt every 15 or 20 years,” said Rae. “We also acquire new machinery,” Rae said.
Tivoly has a large assortment of customers, but none of the final products carry the company’s label. The company manufactures taps and reamers for major distributors who, in turn, sell to other distributors, sometimes retailers. A classic application is the automotive industry, appliance and companies that make electrical motors.
“Anything that requires a thread be put into a piece of metal,” Rae said, “there’s where they use our taps.”
Customers are primarily in the United States and Canada, but there is at least one in Australia.
Sales are going well for Tivoly and it currently has a backlog of orders. The company has about 60 customers. Tivoly makes about 80,000 pieces a week.