Laurie Walsh names Rhode Island 2010 SBA Financial Services Champion

The South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corporation announced today that

Laurie Walsh, commercial loan officer and business assistance manager, has been named

Rhode Island 2010 Financial Services Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The award will be presented at the Rhode Island Salute to Small Business Celebration on Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at the Alpine Country Club in Cranston, Rhode Island.

“We congratulate Laurie and are extremely proud that she is being recognized for her hard work and dedication to the Rhode Island small business community,” stated Maria

Gooch-Smith, SEED’s executive director.

Laurie Walsh is being honored for her role in the Rhode Island SBA Micro Loan and Technical Assistance Programs. Since SEED was named the new SBA Intermediary Lender for the Rhode Island Micro Loan Program in March 2009, she has made 11 loans and has participated in six workshops and helped to provided one-on-one business assistance to 430 existing and prospective entrepreneurs.

Walsh’s clients include: Archbeauty Skincare in Newport; AG Services in Providence;

Moody Machine Products in Providence; Glow Oil in Lincoln; Curves in Portsmouth;

JM Painting and Plastering in Cranston; Castle Awards in East Providence; Groh Associates in Warwick; Continental Travel Agency in Smithfield; Kathleen’s Wildflower Florist in Barrington and Newport Potters Guild in Newport.

Walsh is SEED’s manager for the Micro Loan Program which makes loans up to $35,000 to existing and start-up small businesses including home based businesses. Loan funds can be

used for: working capital, inventory, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures and

refinancing business credit card debt with high interest rates. The term on the loans is up to six years and the current rate is 6 percent fixed.

According to Walsh, small business owners need to have at least a 600 credit score and be able to explain delinquencies. She added that SEED reviews the small business owner’s entire household income to see if there is enough income to repay the loan.

“SEED can be flexible with repayment terms and collateral, but we expect small businesses to stand behind their loans and will take all available collateral including a second or third position on the small business owner’s home, whether there is equity available or not,” Walsh explained.

The application process includes filling out SEED’s application form, and providing federal income tax returns for three years for the small business and the owner. The application and list of items needed is available on SEED’s website, www.seedcorp.com.

SEED is a non-profit economic development corporation established and certified by SBA

in 1982 to assist small businesses in the region. Under various loan programs, SEED makes loans from $1,000 to $4 million to assist small businesses to grow and create jobs.

SEED also provides technical assistance to small businesses and works with other economic development organizations and financing institutions in the region to ensure that individuals who are committed to owning and operating a small business are able to obtain the assistance they need to be successful. SEED staff is available at the Small Business Development Center office located at Johnson & Wales University on 270 Weybosset Street in Providence.

For more information about the SBA Micro Loan Program, the free entrepreneurial workshop and other SEED loan programs, please call 508-822-1020 or visit SEED at www.seedcorp.com.

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