June 1, 2011
Picente: Microenterprise Grant to assist Noble Wood Shavings Company to begin operations in Sherrill, NY
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. announced today that Noble Wood Shavings has received an Oneida County Microenterprise Grant in the amount of $20,000 to assist its startup operations. The Oneida County Microenterprise Grant program, administered by Mohawk Valley EDGE, utilizes Community Development Block Grant funding through the NYS Office of Community Renewal. Due to CDBG program requirements, only startup and existing microenterprises that are outside of the cities of Utica and Rome are eligible for funding. A microenterprise is defined as a business with five or fewer employees, including the owner.
The grant will assist Noble Wood Shavings, and its owners (Jason DiBenedetto and Leo Rentzis) with working capital as they commence operations within the Sherrill Manufacturing Complex on Route 5 in Sherrill, NY. Noble will manufacture premium quality bedding shavings for the local and regional equine industry. Noble’s bedding product will be a consistently high quality and super-absorbent soft-wood bedding product free of pathogens, dust, lacquers, metal or other foreign materials commonly found in other types of bedding, especially by-product waste from sawmills.
Noble Wood Shavings will hire three new employees in addition to its owners and is Central New York’s sole manufacturing facility dedicated to producing quality bedding for the equine professional. Up until now, comparable product had to be transported in from Northern Canada or the South East, incurring premium pricing. Noble’s product will be offered through local resellers.
Noble’s production process is unique in the bedding industry; white and red pine logs are used to ensure quality and suitability for the animal bedding. Bark is pulverized and removed from the log before any wood pulp is shaved. The resulting shavings are subsequently super-heated through a rotary drum drying system to ensure consistent and accurate drying and to kill any mold, mildew and bacteria. Prior to compression bagging, the finished product is triple screened to remove any remaining dust, chips and shards, which, combined with bark, are recycled through a biomass burner to generate heat for the drying process, conserve overall energy usage and minimize any air emissions from the production process.
“We are very pleased to augment the financial assistance of our economic development partners, Mohawk Valley EDGE, Mohawk Valley Rehabilitation Corporation and Alliance Bank, NA, to assist Noble Wood Shavings in their startup operations,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. “This business epitomizes the entrepreneurial spirit to identify and fill a niche market in one of Oneida County’s key agricultural sectors.”
“Mohawk Valley EDGE also assisted Noble Wood Shavings with a $38,500 working capital loan,” said Steve DiMeo, president of Mohawk Valley EDGE. “We believe that Noble Wood Shavings will have a bright future, not only because there is a strong local and regional demand for their product but also a readily available supply of raw material to fill that demand.”