The South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corporation has recently provided $75,000 in financing to Chessawanock Island Oysters using RI Commerce funds and an SBA Micro Loan. The financing will allow the existing oyster farm to expand from three to five acres in Narragansett Bay, purchase additional farming equipment, and create four new jobs.
“We are pleased that Chessawanock Island Oysters is receiving this loan from our small business assistance program.” said Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. “The Rhode Island aquaculture and shellfishing industries are vital components of our state’s economy. These modest investments in small businesses are an important part of our economic development strategy. Thank you to SEED and congratulations to Chessawanock Island Oysters.”
Established in 2012 by owner Kyle Hess, Chessawanock cultivates premium quality oysters to sell to local wholesalers who distribute in and out-of-state. The in-water nursery grows seed to a healthy planting size before transferring oysters to floating OysterGro Cages, where they are tended by hand. The company only uses native species that have been approved by the National Shellfish Sanitation Program.
Chessawanock Island Oysters is located at 400 Station Street in Cranston, with its newly-expanded oyster farm in Narragansett Bay. The SEED lender for the project was Angela Laperriere from SEED.
“As a non-profit community lender, SEED will be able to make loans up to $250,000 with the RI Commerce funds,” explained Maria Gooch-Smith, SEED’s executive director. She added that loans can be made for real estate purchases or improvements for the business and for a variety of uses including working capital and refinancing of high interest rate business credit cards. The rates range from five to six percent fixed and the term on the loans can go up 10 years with longer amortization.
SEED Corporation is a non-profit economic development organization certified in 1982 by the U.S. Small Business Administration. SEED is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) under the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the SBA Micro Lender for the region. Under various programs, SEED makes loans from $1,000 up to $5.5 million to assist small businesses to grow and create jobs throughout the region.
Under the SBA 504 Program, SEED can provide up to 40 percent of the financing needed behind a bank for the purchase of buildings and equipment with a life of 10 years. SEED’s portion can range from $120,000 to $5 million for most small businesses, and $5.5 million for manufacturing businesses, at a fixed interest rate below market for 20 years, currently 4.89 percent.
For more information about the SBA 504 Program and other SEED loan programs, please call 508-822-1020 or visit SEED at www.seedcorp.com.
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