MILLSBORO, DEL. — Tail Bangers, an artisan dog treat company based on the East Coast, is expanding in Sussex County thanks to a $1.4 million loan granted by ExciteSussex, a county economic development fund established in the area in late 2017.

According to Lisa St. Clair, president of the Delaware-based dog treat company, funding will be used to acquire properties Tail Bangers has been renting, as well as making necessary improvements and additions to those properties.

Tail Bangers plans to add 3,000 square feet to its existing bakery site on Betts Pond Road, and another 5,000 square feet to one of its facilities on Highway 113, St. Clair told Pet Food Processing.

“The loan from ExciteSussex is an unbelievable tool that will allow us to grow in our current location,” she said. “It will enable us to expand into markets we have previously been unable to reach and to offer exciting new positions to accelerate our growth.”

The artisan dog treat company currently operates a 5,000-square-foot production space and a 1,800-square-foot storage facility on Hollyville Road. The company decorates and finalizes dog treats at the 5,000-square-foot production plant on Betts Pond Road, which will be expanded over the next two months. 

Additionally, Tail Bangers has purchased three properties on Highway 113 and intends to build a 5,000-square-fooot retail and packaging site there, with plans to expand the building designated for shipping in the future.

Tail Bangers recently purchased additional ovens to increase daily output to roughly 35,000 to 40,000 cookies per day, as well as a new Reading Bakery Systems Pretzel Machine, a PAC packaging system and a set of 3D printers to its fleet of equipment.

The company hopes to double its current production with additional equipment, employees and by implementing second shifts at its facilities.

ExciteSussex is a development fund supporting small businesses in Sussex County, using funds from the county and through a partnership with Discover Bank. According to ExciteSussex, the county is “the fastest growing county in the fastest growing state in the Mid-Atlantic region.”

“The purpose is to really create jobs and spur economic developments in areas of the county where we want to drive economic development,” said William Pfaff, director of Sussex County Economic Development

Sussex County businesses that have been operating in the area for at least two years —have filed at least two tax returns — and employ between 10 and 500 people are eligible to receive funding from ExciteSussex. It is a low-interest, fixed-rate loan program available to any businesses in the county that meet those criteria.

Funding can be used in three ways, according to Pfaff: to finance machinery and equipment for 10 years, to finance the acquisition of land, buildings or renovations for 25 years, or to finance lease hold improvements based on the terms of each lease.

Read more about Tail Bangers in our exclusive case study from 2019.

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