State approves funding for CRFS expansion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 April 2013 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – The state has come through with a $750,000 grant and low-interest loan package for an Albion company that is expanding into Medina.

Credit Recovery Financial Services will receive a $367,500 grant and a $367,500 deferred loan with the other $15,000 going to Harry Sicherman, a grant writer and consultant from Buffalo. He prepared the application and will administer the funding.

If the company meets its employment goals – adding 315 workers in the next three years – the $367,000 loan won’t need to be paid back.

Medina applied for the money for CRFS in February. Mayor Andrew Meier praised the state’s Homes and Community Renewal agency for approving the request so quickly.

“Now that’s a quick turnaround,” Meier said Monday.

The Village Board agreed to serve as a “pass through” for the money. The village applied for the grant and loan, and is the official recipient. It will pass the money to the Orleans Land Restoration Corporation, which is part of the Orleans Economic Development Agency umbrella. The OLRC will then loan and give the grant money to CRFS.

The Albion company was started in 2002 by CEO Jodi Gaines. It has grown to more than 400 employees and company officials believe it could reach 750. CRFS outgrew its Albion site. It will work out of a 15,000-square-foot building at the Olde Pickle Factory for the next year while keeping some workers in Albion at a site on East Avenue.

In about a year it expects to shift to a 50,000-square-foot space at the Pickle Factory. CRFS expects to spend $7 million in the expansion project. The state funding will go towards purchasing computers, furniture and other equipment.

CRFS has become the leader in its industry, helping banks and investors recoup money when a home is foreclosed.