A US small business will use a loan supported by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to expand its toilet/tissue paper and napkin manufacturing operations in Mexico, increasing production capacity by 90% and generating dozens of new jobs in the process.

OPIC will provide a guarantee for a US$10mn loan to Corporativo Papelero y de Suministros Basicos (COPASBA), a small business owned by two entrepreneurs who are US citizens, to finance the expansion of its manufacturing operations in Puebla, Mexico.

The expansion will include the purchase of new paper-converting equipment and the construction of a new warehouse and manufacturing facility. The loan was made by WorldBusiness Capital, a commercial finance company specialising in loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in emerging markets.

The expansion will enable COPASBA to finance new toilet paper and napkin production lines and modify existing production lines, resulting in an increase in production capacity of approximately 90%.

The project will also generate at least 60 new jobs in Puebla, half of them in sales and management positions. COPASBA provides benefits to its employees that exceed local requirements, such as three-month maternity leave, day care and preschool for employee children, daily meals in a company cafeteria, and transportation to and from the company facility.

COPASBA was established in 1995 and has since become Mexico’s fifth largest producer of toilet paper and napkins. Through a network of distributors and wholesalers, COPASBA reaches all regions of the country, and its customers include supermarket chains and convenience stores.

World Business Capital has successfully closed loans in emerging markets throughout the world. In 2003 OPIC entered into a cooperative agreement with WorldBusiness Capital to expand support for SMEs investing overseas and enhance the activities of OPIC’s Small Business Center.