The South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corporation has named Eastern Ice Co., Inc., of Fall River, Ma. “Small Business of the Year” for 2017. SEED has also named Heidrea Communications, LLC. of Bellingham, Ma. “Veteran Small Business of the Year,” and ComeForCare Home Care of Canton, Ma. “Start-Up Small Business of the Year”.
‘We are very pleased to be presenting awards to these deserving small business. They are an excellent example of entrepreneurship and sound management,” stated Maria Gooch-Smith, SEED’s executive director. The awards will be presented at SEED’s 35th Annual Meeting at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, November 29 at White’s of Westport in Westport, Ma.
Eastern Ice, SEED’s Small Business of the Year, is a fifth generation family owned and operated business. “The small business has grown into one of the largest ice companies in New England with nearly $7 million in sales and 44 employees” explained Gooch-Smith.
The Rossi family got involved in the ice business in 1918. Today, Joseph Rossi, president of Eastern Ice, operates the business with his brother David, and the assistance of their two sons, four nephews, one niece and four brothers in-law.
In 2007, Eastern Ice expanded into a new plant in the Fall River Industrial Park. By 2015 the small business undertook another plant expansion with the assistance of an SBA 504 loan through SEED and Webster Bank’s participation. The new state of the art 50,000 square foot facility can produce up to 220 tons of ice per day and serves southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut.
Heidrea Communications, SEED’s “Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year” was started by two marines who are Iraq veterans. In 10 years, the small business has grown to nearly $14 million in sales and 49 employees, and is giving back to other veterans.
Jesse Brown and Matthew Mastroianni, the principals of Heidrea, started the small business in 2007 in Plymouth. Four years later, Heidrea purchased a 9,000 square foot warehouse in Bellingham, Ma. to expand operations with the assistance of an SBA 504 loan through SEED and the participation of Bristol County Savings Bank.
Today Heidrea is involved in every aspect of the wireless construction market in New England, New York and Pennsylvania with locations in Plymouth and Bellingham, MA and East Windsor, CT, and Oriskany, NY to meet customer demand.
In 2013, Jesse and Matt started a non-profit, Heidrea for Heroes, to provide support services to military man and women upon their return home. They provide adaptive services including housing renovations, vehicle modifications, specialized mobility equipment, and workforce readiness programs.
ComeForCare Home Care, SEED’s “Start-Up Small Business of the Year” is a woman owned and operated small business started in 2013 in Canton, Ma. which has grown to over $1 million in sales and 44 employees while providing non-medical services to those requiring help with daily activities.
Su Madan manages day to day operations including client visits, marketing and supervising caregivers and individuals with RN, LPN and physical therapy certifications. They provide services which include personal care, meal preparation, medication reminders, bill paying, safety supervision, and transportation.
In 2014, SEED provided ComForCare with a $50,000 SBA micro loan for working capital to support the start-up small business. In 2016, SEED closed on another two loans totaling $120,000 to enable the small business to expand its territory. Today, ComForCare provides services in Bristol County, northern Plymouth County, and Norfolk and Suffolk counties.
SEED will also present the “Regional Business Advocate of the Year” award to Gerard Nadeau, President of Rockland Trust Company, for his role in the growth of the bank’s commercial division and his service to many community organizations.
The guest speaker at SEED’s Annual Meeting is Mark Hayward, the Acting Regional Administrator and RI District Director for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). He will be assisting with the award presentations along with Robert Nelson, the MA District Director for SBA.
At the meeting, SEED members will vote on a slate for officers, directors and members for 2018. The slate for SEED Officers includes: Richard Shafer, Chair (Shafer Development Services and Taunton Development Corporation); Jennifer Menard, Vice Chair (Bristol Community College); Charles Dwyer, Vice Chair (Middlesex Savings Bank); Lorraine Travers, CPA, Treasurer; Jack Meehl, Jr, Assistant Treasurer (Plymouth Regional Economic Development Foundation); William Lewis, Clerk (Bristol County Savings Bank); Wayne Carvalho, Assistant Clerk (First Citizens Federal Credit Union); and Gerard Nadeau, Past Chair (Rockland Trust Company).
SEED is a non-profit corporation certified in late 1982 by the SBA. SEED is also a Community Development Financial Institution under the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and an SBA Micro Lender. SEED provides financing ranging from a $1,000 micro loan to a $5.5 million SBA 504 loan to small businesses in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In 2017, SEED made 75 small business loans totaling $21.6 million and creating 383 new jobs.
SEED’s directors and members represent small businesses, financial institutions, local officials and community organizations. Members meet on an annual basis to elect a board of directors and officers, and review SEED’s performance. For more information about the Annual Meeting and SEED’s programs call 508-822-1020 or visit www.seedcorp.com.