The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently presented the South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corporation with another $750,000 for micro loans in southeastern Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. SBA also named SEED the “2010 Number One Micro Lender in Massachusetts”.
“The $750,000 SBA loan enables SEED to continue making micro loans up to $50,000 to small businesses in their start-up phase, or those already operating,” explained Maria Gooch-Smith, SEED’s executive director.
“I want to commend SEED for being named the top SBA micro lender in Massachusetts,” stated Jeanne Hulit, SBA’s New England regional administrator. “SEED is dedicated to meeting the needs for business loans and training throughout southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and has proven to be a valuable partner to the SBA year after year.”
Bob Nelson, Massachusetts SBA district director added, “SBA micro lenders provide in-depth business education to their customers to compliment the business loans they are making. Technical assistance and capital together are key components to the program to help insure business success.”
SEED became an intermediary under the SBA Micro Loan Program for southeastern Massachusetts in 1999. SEED’s territory expanded in 2009 to include all of Rhode Island. That year SEED borrowed $1 million from SBA to meet the need for micro loans during the recession.
According to Laurie Driscoll, SEED’s assistant vice president and commercial loan officer for the program, micro loans can be used for equipment, furniture and fixtures, working capital, and for paying off high interest rate credit cards used for the business. SEED can also combine micro loans with a bank loan or another SEED loan to meet a need up to $150,000. SEED micro loans are usually made for six years at a current fixed interest rate of six percent.
“Often entrepreneurs start up their small businesses with funds from savings or home refinancing, but in this recession these funds have diminished, as savings and the equity in homes have been depleted – that’s where SEED comes in,” explained Driscoll. “In some cases, small businesses just need a loan for working capital to continue operating,” she added.
“The process for obtaining a loan consists of filling out a simple two page application form which can be obtained through SEED’s web site: www.seedcorp.com or by calling SEED at 508-822-1020,” added Driscoll. For start-up businesses, Driscoll suggests attending one of SEED’s free Business Basics Workshops held monthly, and preparing a business plan. A Business Plan Booklet is available on SEED’s web site.
As the designated SBA micro lender in southeastern Massachusetts, SEED can make micro loans in the area south of Boston including the Cape and Islands – the counties of Bristol, Plymouth, Norfolk, Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket. SEED is also the SBA micro lender for all of Rhode Island.
Since 1999, SEED has made 345 micro loans totaling $7.9 million, leveraging $9.7 million in bank financing and private funds, and assisting in the creation of 987 new jobs. These loans have been made to a variety of small businesses including: machine shops, restaurants, gift shops, hair salons, fitness centers, flower shops, dance studios, convenience stores, auto repair shops and many others.
SEED is a non-profit corporation certified in late 1982 by the SBA. SEED runs four loan programs and a Small Business Assistance Program. Under its small business loan programs, SEED provides loans from $1,000 to $5.5 million.
For more information about SEED and its programs, please call 508-822-1020 or visit SEED’s website at http://www.seedcorp.com.
Re-printed here w/permission from SEED.