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Bicycle Retailer Uses EDA Resources to Support Strategic Expansion in New Jersey

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From left: Bike Ahead Co-Owner Leib Lefkowitz, EDA President/Chief Operating Officer Tim Lizura, Bike Ahead Co-Owner Jacob Lefkowitz, Two River Community Bank Business Development Officer Jeffrey Zatta.

TRENTON (November 29, 2016) – With a passion for cycling and through a combination of its brick-and-mortar store, its website BikeAhead.com, and online retailers, Bike Ahead has established a reputation for providing quality products and services to bicycling enthusiasts around the world.

Bolstered by the success of its storefront and online shops, Bike Ahead needed a larger space to accommodate its rapid growth. Earlier this year, company owners and brothers Leib and Jacob Lefkowitz turned to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (EDA) Premier Lender Program to support its purchase of a new, 33,000-square-foot warehouse in Totowa to house its operations. Through the program, Bike Ahead obtained a $1.89 million loan from Two River Community Bank that included a 30 percent EDA participation.

“When we outgrew locations in Brooklyn, we faced a strategic decision: continue paying rent on three locations in New York, or combine into a larger, yet lower-cost warehouse in New Jersey,” Leib Lefkowitz said. “With EDA support, we chose the latter and have been very satisfied with our decision to locate in Totowa.”

While Bike Ahead still maintains a shop in Brooklyn, most of its operations, including storage and shipping, come from its new warehouse in Totowa.

The Premier Lender Program lowers the cost of borrowing for small businesses through the EDA’s alliance with more than two dozen banking partners. It offers low-cost financing with quick turnaround time from approval to closing, while the EDA’s exposure by participating in or guaranteeing a portion of a loan reduces the lender’s risk. Businesses can use this financing for fixed assets, working capital, and/or the refinancing of other bank debt.

EDA President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Lizura visited the company’s Totowa location today as part of the EDA’s ongoing efforts to facilitate awareness of the programs it offers to support small and mid-sized businesses and not-for-profits. Two River Community Bank Business Development Officer Jeffrey Zatta joined Lizura on the visit. 

“It’s always exciting to see small businesses expanding into New Jersey and to hear success stories from entrepreneurs like Leib and Jacob who have leveraged State resources to grow their company here in the Garden State,” Lizura said.

The EDA’s activities to promote its programs in support of small businesses are based on the theme “EDA Was Here.”  The campaign and new social media presence highlight how organizations like Bike Ahead have used the EDA’s financing programs to overcome challenges, meet their needs and grow.

To learn about EDA resources for small businesses and not-for-profits, visit
http://www.njeda.com/small_midsize_business and follow @NJEDAWasHere on Twitter and LinkedIn.
 
The EDA is part of the state’s results-driven Partnership for Action. Created by Governor Christie and led by Lt. Governor Guadagno, the Partnership is the hub for all economic development activity in New Jersey and is comprised of four interconnected and highly focused organizational elements: Choose New Jersey, the Business Action Center, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the EDA. 
 
To learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at www.NewJerseyBusiness.gov or call the Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789.
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