BRAWLEY – As part of the Agricultural Benefit Program, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve $2.5 million loan to One World Beef to assist with the purchase of the former Brawley National Beef facility.
In June 2015, the board considered and unanimously authorized One World Beef’s Agricultural Benefit Program (ABP) loan application in the amount of $2.5 million.
In approving the loan application, the board authorized Imperial County CEO Ralph Cordova Jr., to negotiate an agreement consistent with the ABP as well as with certain terms and conditions including that the loan be contingent upon One World Beef operating a beef plant in Imperial county and the provision of loan security. In addition, the board authorized up to 20 percent portion of the loan to be forgiven upon the meeting of certain job creation benchmarks.
The term of the loan will be for a 10-year period with a balloon payment of principal and interest amortized for a period of 20 years.
A maximum of 20 percent of the loan, or $500,000, will be forgiven at a rate of $10,000 per full time employee job created average over a consecutive period of five years. One World Beef must also provide annual reports to the county showing the benefit of the project to Imperial County’s agricultural community, including the average number of full time employee jobs annually.
According to District 4 Supervisor Ryan Kelly, One World Beef is expected to create up to 600 jobs for Imperial County residents.
One World Beef was expected to close escrow June 15, however, funds will be available when the facility is in full operation within one year of the signed agreement.
According to Cordova, One World Beef is expected to be operating within a 90-day period.
“They (One World Beef) have to start employing people within a certain window of time,” said Cordova. ““They feel it can start running within 90-120 days so we have a requirement that if they don’t begin operating within a certain period of time they have to pay everything back at that point in time.”
Referring to Brawley National Beef, District 1 Supervisor John Renison said, “This was one of the biggest things lost here a couple of years ago.”
“When I looked at this and all of the hard work that went into it and looked at the Brandt family and what they stand for, I have full confidence that this will be very successful,” added Renison. “If that’s the case, there will be a lot of happy campers around the Valley.”
Brawley National Beef closed its facility in May 2014, claiming the company had not seen enough cattle to make a profit resulting in the displacement of 1,300 employees.
I’m glad to this finally coming through,” said Ray Castillo, supervisor of District 5. “My favorite part of this is the beef jerky.”