USDA Loan Supports $28M Expansion at Envelope 1

COLUMBIANA, Ohio – Structural steel is expected to go up this week on a $28 million expansion project at Envelope 1 Inc.

The company is building the 100,000-square-foot addition attached to its building at 41969 State Route 344 in Columbiana, Thomas Meeks, managing director of RMK Capital LLC, said. Meeks put together the debt structure for the expansion project.

“The new structure will have a beautiful office facility in front, which is going to be a great addition to the overall appearance of the company,” he said.

Dun & Bradstreet estimates that Envelope 1 generates $94.65 million in annual sales. The company’s website says it has the capacity to manufacture up to 30 million custom envelopes a day. It is part of the privately owned Pidgeon Group of companies, which began making envelopes more than a century ago.

The project will enable Envelope 1 to consolidate under one roof with an affiliated company, E1 Digital Direct, in Boardman, that prints materials such as bank and credit card statements that are then inserted and mailed in Envelope 1-manufactured envelopes.

The company will retain 200 jobs and expects to add 122 positions, according to Meeks.

E1DD is paying $50,000 monthly rent for its current plant on McClurg Road, according to Meeks. “It made a lot more sense for management to move that company to envelope 1’s facility and have everything they do under one roof,” he said. “It was a justifiable expansion.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown announced Monday that the project was awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development loan guarantee of $25 million.

US Eagle Federal Credit Union is making the USDA-backed loan to Envelope 1 for 30 years at a 6.5% rate, according to USDA documents.

“Small businesses and communities face unique challenges and this federal funding will make the investments local businesses need, bolster economic growth, and support public safety,” Brown, D-Ohio, said in announcing the loan guarantee.

The cost of the building itself will be $17.5 million, while the rest of the funds will be to purchase new equipment and relocate E1’s existing equipment, according to Meeks.

“We’ve got two big high-speed printing presses that have to be relocated. We have 19 servers because of the layers of firewall to protect the data we hold,” he said. The company is buying a $3.5 million machine that can manufacture 1,750 envelopes per minute.

Construction began during the winter and the building is slated for completion by December, Meeks said. Structural steel is expected to rise at the site on Thursday.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.