Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jason DiBenedetto and Leo Rentzis of Noble Wood Shavings, NYS SBDC Manufacturer of the Year



In 2011, Jason DiBenedetto and Leo Rentzis, friends with a shared vision, started Noble Wood Shavings (NWS). NWS is Central New York’s only manufacturing facility dedicated to producing the absolute best quality bedding for horses. They use an exclusive recipe of soft wood species to ensure a top quality product that is consistent, super absorbent, and rot free. The product is super-heated during the drying process to kill bacteria, fungus, and molds. Business Advisor David Lerman worked extensively with the partners to draft a solid business plan and projections. The business plan included several letters of interest from prospective customers, which proved to be key to the successful funding of the project. Locating the business in Sherrill Manufacturing Park with low cost power and overhead helped keep NWS’ operating costs competitive, as did an abundance of local low cost raw material.

NWS opened for business with financing from Alliance Bank (an SBA guaranteed loan), Mohawk Valley EDGE, MORECO, and a grant from Oneida County. Late in 2011, NWS reached capacity and consulted the SBDC about new capital to fuel its rapid growth. In March 2012, NWS won the EDGEccelerator competition, receiving $20,000 in cash and a $50,000 low interest loan, which leveraged additional capital. NWS, which saw double digit growth in 2012, and expects to double production again in 2013, employs 11 and has tallied $469,000 in economic impact. Jason DiBenedetto commented, “David Lerman has been instrumental in the success of Noble Wood Shavings. His guidance and expertise have been invaluable for the growth of our business.”

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