Boscov's Financing in Trouble?

Al Boscov made a sales pitch to Snyder County last week, asking the county's commissioners to approve a federally backed loan to help him complete his purchase of the Boscov's department store chain.

Nonetheless, Snyder County commissioners voted 2-1 against supporting the loan.

Snyder was one of seven counties being asked to support $5 million in loans from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or a total of $35 million. Snyder County is the only one to refuse, so far.

The $35 million is part of a state commitment to help Boscov keep the Reading-based department store chain in business. Boscov and his brother-in-law, Ed Lakin, led a family group that bought the store chain's assets out of bankruptcy court earlier this month for $300 million.

State officials had said that Snyder County's participation wasn't essential to make the deal work. But Steve Weitzman, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, said he was "extremely disappointed" with the vote. He said the state will be touching base with the Snyder County Commissioners. "We'd like them to revisit it."


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