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Food distributor to bring 200-plus jobs to Corona

A food packaging and distribution company will move to Corona from Anaheim, bringing with it more than 200 jobs.

Veg-Fresh Farms Inc., which packages and distributes produce to grocery stores, has purchased a 187,000-square-foot industrial building that is under construction at 1400 W. Rincon Ave., said Larry Nuffer, manager of corporate communications for CDC Small Business Finance in San Diego.

The company, a family-owned business that has operated since the early 1970s, currently employs 240 people and expects to add 60 jobs during the next two years, according to a CDC release.

Veg-Fresh is moving from a 100,000 square foot building, and it’s expected to relocate sometime next year, according to the release.

Officials with Veg-Fresh could not be reached for comment.

Veg-Fresh bought the building, which will serve as its production facility, with a $23 million loan that it secured through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s SB-504 loan program.

That program loans money to small businesses at a fixed rate so they can purchased fixed assets, usually a building or heavy equipment, that the business can use to create jobs and expand. CDC is a non-profit company and one of about 200 entities in the United States that secures SB-504 loans through banks.

The Veg-Fresh loan, which CDC arranged through Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bank, is one of the largest SB-504 loans ever secured in connection with the Inland Empire, Nuffer said.

“It’s one of the biggest I’ve ever seen,” said Nuffer, whose office works with businesses in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. “Usually [SB-] 504 loans are around $3 million and they rarely get above $10 million, so this is pretty big.

CDC and Pacific Mercantile combined provide $20 million of the financing, with Veg-Fresh responsible for the remaining $3 million, according to the release.

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