Press Releases
Press Office
(518) 474-4015


August 21. 2013

DiNapoli, NYBDC Announce $3.2 Million Loan to Nirvana Water

Small Business Loan Program Backed with State Pension Money
Surpasses 1,000 Loan Milestone


New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and New York Business Development Corporation CEO Pat MacKrell today announced a $3.2 million loan to Nirvana Water, based in Boonville in Oneida County. The loan marks a milestone of 1,000 loans granted to small businesses in New York using funds from the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund).

Since 1987, the New York State Common Retirement Fund has allocated $400 million to be used for loans for New York State-based small businesses through the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC). NYBDC makes loans to small businesses for working capital, equipment or real property. NYBDC has made $324 million in loans to over 1,000 small businesses around the state.

"New York's small businesses are the backbone of the state's economy," DiNapoli said. "Working with the New York Business Development Corporation, the Fund has helped 1,000 small businesses expand and grow in New York while achieving solid investment returns. Nirvana Water is a great example of how an expanding upstate company can be helped by this program. It is a win for the pension fund, local communities and for New York's economy."

Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has increased the total amount of funds allocated to NYBDC by $100 million for a total of $400 million available for New York companies. The program began in 1987 and has granted loans to small businesses in all 62 counties. These loans have helped businesses across the state retain or create more than 20,000 jobs.

"The Nirvana project is a perfect example of the results that can be accomplished by our partnership with the New York State Common Retirement Fund," said MacKrell. "For more than twenty five years, the Fund has facilitated access to capital for small businesses in New York State through NYBDC. We applaud Comptroller DiNapoli's leadership, vision and commitment to promoting opportunity, job growth and economic development in every corner of the state."

Nirvana Water, a family-run business with more than 100 employees, is the only supplier of water from Nirvana Springs located on 2,000 acres of wilderness. Nirvana distributes its bottled water under the company's own label throughout the Northeast and has customers in the Midwest and Southwest.

With the NYBDC loan, and other funding sources, Nirvana has purchased a high speed bottling line that will produce 12 million cases of bottled water annually and will increase the company's workforce by 50 people.

Additional funding for the Nirvana expansion was provided by the federal Small Business Administration with assistance from U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.

"The New York State Common Retirement Fund's commitment to helping small businesses such as Nirvana Water expand is important to families across the state," said Mozafar Rafizadeh, president and CEO of Nirvana Water. "This loan has helped us purchase a top-of-the-line bottling machine and will provide salaries for 50 additional workers. We want to thank Comptroller DiNapoli for his leadership to help local companies stay in New York."

NYBDC Invests in New York's Small Businesses:

  • $324 million provided for 1,006 small business loans since 1987;
  • $400 million committed to the program through installments in 1987, 1998, 2006 and 2010;
  • Investments across New York State in all 62 counties;
  • Typical loan sizes are $300,000 to $500,000;
  • Fixed-rate loans with favorable rates;
  • Rate of return above comparable Treasury investments; and
  • Consistent returns to the New York State Common Retirement Fund

In 2007, DiNapoli and NYBDC also announced a lending program targeting military veterans, which has made more than $1 million in loans. The state pension fund also provides capital to New York businesses through the In-State Private Equity Program. Working with 18 private equity managers, the state pension fund has committed $1.1 billion for New York companies that require capital for growth or to refinance ownership. DiNapoli has more than doubled the commitment to this program.

About the Common Retirement Fund
The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension plan in the United States with more than one million members, retirees and beneficiaries from state and local governments. The Fund has a diversified portfolio of public and private equities, fixed income, real estate and alternative instruments and was valued at $160.4 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013.

About New York Business Development Corporation
NYBDC's mission is to promote economic activity and opportunity within New York state by providing innovative loans to credit-worthy small businesses that are unable to access capital at reasonable rates and terms from conventional sources; and, particularly, to assist minority and women-owned businesses by offering credit opportunities not otherwise available to them.


Albany Phone: (518) 474-4015 Fax: (518) 473-8940
NYC Phone: (212) 383-1388 Fax: (212) 681-7677
Follow us on Twitter: @NYSComptroller
Like us on Facebook: