$6.9M in federal loans to aid businesses in Brooks, Northport and Katahdin region

Posted Jan. 12, 2014, at 2:06 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 12, 2014, at 7:45 p.m.
Matthew Polstein
Michael C. York | BDN
Matthew Polstein

TOWNSHIP 1 RANGE 8, Maine — In partnership with lender Katahdin Trust Co., two rural Maine businesses will receive federally guaranteed loans totaling $6.9 million, officials said.

Amjosa Enterprises Inc. of Brooks will receive $2.6 million to refinance debt and replace fuel pumps at its Brooks and Northport convenience stores. The money will fund the construction of a seven-unit self-storage building on an existing concrete foundation, in addition to two 20-unit self-storage buildings, at Northport, U.S. Department of Agriculture State Director Virginia Manuel said.

Entrepreneur Matthew Polstein will refinance debt and add three cabins to his Twin Pine Camps facility with a $4.3 million loan. It could create several new jobs and lead to the expansion of the cross-country skiing trails at Twin Pines and Polstein’s associated business, New England Outdoor Center, which offers snowmobiling, whitewater rafting and other outdoor recreation.

Polstein said he will create the Katahdin and Lincoln Lake’s region’s first off-road mountain-biking facility next summer at New England Outdoor Center — if the winter season is successful.

“It is an important and very helpful loan,” Polstein said Saturday. “It definitely reduces our cash flow burden for cash service. At the same time, it allows us to expand, which is great for our business.

“We see tremendous room for growth for destination tourism and lodging in this area and we are happy to meet that demand,” he added. “Our sense of the long-term prospects for this area, in spite of the difficult short-term prospects, is that the long-term prospects are good.”

Amjosa’s owner did not immediately return a telephone message left Sunday at the company’s headquarters.

The loans will support 67 existing jobs at both Twin Pines and Amjosa. Two new jobs will be created at Amjosa, Manuel said in a statement.

Manuel called the loans a “substantial investment in community economic development.

“Investing in Maine businesses is key to creating and retaining rural jobs and helps to create thriving rural economies,” she said.

Polstein has been slowly expanding his Twin Pines site just outside Millinocket on the road to Baxter State Park into an ecotourism resort on Millinocket Lake that he valued at $65 million when construction began in 2008. The planned Ktaadn Resorts includes a large hotel and several family lodges. It has been stalled since the Great Recession of 2008-09 by a lack of big-ticket financing, although business has increased significantly since 2011, he said.

Construction of Polstein’s three new cabins has already begun in anticipation of a successful loan application with the pouring of some concrete slabs. Work should finish by the summer season, he said. The three new buildings will join 18 other cabins on the site.

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