Friday, February 28, 2014

Kestrel Aircraft, Superior, Wisconsin

Superior-based Kestrel Aircraft months behind on loan payments  (with video)

Superior, WI ( - Superior-based Kestrel Aircraft has, once again, fallen behind on at least three months worth of loan payments to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. 

According to the WEDC, Kestrel hasn't paid the $6,600 monthly loan payments since October. If they don't pay February's payment before month's end, that brings the 19,800 they currently owe to $26,400.

The monthly payments come from two $2 million state and federal loans the WEDC administered to Kestrel to help get their business off the ground.

According to agency spokesperson Mark Maley, while Kestrel's situation is concerning, it's anything but unique for new businesses.

Maley says the key to starting a business as massive as one in the aviation industry is having millions in capital. That's something new businesses just don't have.

While private investors help meet this requirement, Maley says WEDC's role is to also provide that initial capital boost, while offering easily – modified loans for businesses in a financial pinch.

"As long as that company shows a good–faith effort that they want to make the payments, and they want to work with us—and that's the case with Kestrel," added Maley over a Skype conversation with KBJR, "we want to work [with] them as well to modify the terms of the loan as necessary to ensure the best chance of success."

Maley says Kestrel also has $18 million in available state tax credits that they can use to alleviate the cost of starting up, and doing, business.

On top of that, Superior has also provided a $2.4 million loan to Kestrel, with annual payments set to begin in October.

Kestrel spokespeople say officials were not available for comment at this time.

However, Maley says they've been in constant contact with the company, and believe Kestrel is willing to work with the WEDC through this.

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