The State Bond Commission has signed off on a $1.77 million loan to C. Cowles & Co. to relocate five of its divisions from New Haven, and another in Massachusetts, to the former Marlin Firearms factory in North Haven.
As much as $885,125 of the loan can be forgiven if the company meets certain standards for creating and retaining jobs. The agreement was signed in October 2014, but funding for the project was just approved by the Bond Commission at its monthly meeting in July and announced by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Tuesday.
Earlier this year, a real estate transaction showed that C. Cowles & Co., a metal-stamping company with six business divisions, bought the Marlin factory. The 23-acre parcel includes a 226,000 square-foot plant built in 1968.
As part of its relocation, C. Cowles & Co. collaborated with the University of New Haven and CONNSTEP Inc., a quasi-public state agency, to increase its workforce of 116 employees by 59. C. Cowles has started hiring and training new workers with $250,000 in assistance, a job-training grant from the state Department of Economic and Community Development.
C. Cowles & Co. has five divisions in Connecticut: Cowles Stamping Inc., which does metal stamping for the automotive industry; Phillips/Moldex Co., a plastic injection molding division; ABS Lighting, specializing in controlled beam lighting systems; Cowles Products Co., maker of trim products for the automotive market; and Hydrolevel Co., a liquid-level-control business for boilers.
The sixth division is Carlin Combustion Technology Inc. of East Longmeadow, Mass., which makes burners, controls and igniters for the heating industry.
Moving Carlin Combustion Technology to North Haven will bring 59 workers into Connecticut. If the company creates 59 jobs — the workers coming from Massachusetts — and retains the 117 workers it has in Connecticut, then the state will forgive 50 percent of the loan. The $1.77 million loan has an interest rate of 2 percent over 10 years. Principal and interest are deferred in the first year and the company only has to pay interest in the second year.
C. Cowles CEO Lawrence C. Moon Jr. contacted the University of New Haven's graduate engineering program to help with the manufacturing operations in the new facility.
"The technical and financial support — and the business-friendly attitude of the Malloy Administration —is essential for Connecticut to grow the state's manufacturing space," Moon said in a statement. "Without it, we would not have consolidated our businesses from Massachusetts to Connecticut. This strategic move increases our presence in the HVAC industry, and is critically important to the growth of our company. Further, it supports a new facility that will not only house manufacturing, but engineering, product development and a fully functioning training center for our contractors and users."