A Milford engineering firm that specializes in industrial customers will receive a $1 million line of credit and a $350,000 SBA loan from First Niagara bank, which will help the company hire more engineers.

In the recession and sluggish recovery, many of Innovative Design Engineering Associates’ projects were put on hold indefinitely, and the owners struggled to retain the firm’s employees with the lower level of business. Now, demand is returning, the firm says.

IDEA Principal and Vice President Wallace Reinecke said he talked to several banks about a loan, but First Niagara’s loan officers had a different attitude about the financial stresses the company had recently gone through..

“(First Niagara Vice President) Dave Gesler said ‘You made it. You’re still here.'” Reinecke said. “It was a tremendous relief to have finally found a lender that understood how far we’ve come.”