[November 30, 2022] In 2022, the South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corporation made 68 small business loans totaling $17.8 million and assisted in the creation of 398 new jobs. These loans were either made in participation with the region’s financial institutions to meet a financing gap, or as direct loans to small businesses not able to obtain conventional financing.
“Without SEED’s gap loans, many small businesses would not have been able to start-up, stay open, or expand and create new jobs in the region," explained Sue Murray, SEED's Executive Director. SEED approved and closed 19 Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loans totaling $14 million to enable small businesses to purchase or improve their own building or acquire heavy machinery and equipment. SEED made an additional 49 small business loans totaling $3.8 million under the SBA micro loan and small loan program. These loans ranged from $10,000 to $280,000.
In 2022, SEED was awarded a $3.75 million EDA grant under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to establish a new revolving loan fund to assist the region in rebounding from the devasting effects of the pandemic. These funds will enable SEED to continue making small loans up to $350,000 . This affordable source of capital will be instrumental in new business startups and assisting small business owners who may be ready to expand but lack access to affordable capital.
In addition to our ARPA award, SEED was awarded our second grant from Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) in the amount of $450,000 for lending and administrative costs. Total funding from MGCC totals $1.59 million to support the Massachusetts small business economy. Also in 2022, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation awarded SEED an additional grant of $175,000 for total funding of $1.3 million for lending to small business in the Rhode Island small business community. SEED was also fortunate to receive a renewal of a $20,000 operating grant from Santander Bank.
SBA 504 loans up to $5.5 million are made in participation with financial institutions, and provide an attractive option for small businesses undertaking real estate projects, or financing heavy machinery and equipment. The down payment is generally as low as 10 percent for the total project, and the interest rate is below market and fixed for 20 or 25 years for SEED’s portion of the financing (up to 40%). A participating financial institution provides the remining 50 percent of the financing under this program.
According to Murray, SEED’s small loans assist small businesses that are unable to qualify for conventional financing alone due to tight cash flow, insufficient collateral, start-up nature of the business, or lower personal credit scores, but are viable community businesses which create jobs and are important to the region’s economy. SEED’s flexible loans have terms up to 10 years, repayment schedules up to 20 years (for real estate projects), fixed interest rates from 5 - 6%, and can be used for most any business purpose. These loans are often made in participation with a financial institution to fill a financing gap.
This past year, SEED held or participated in a total of 84 entrepreneurial workshops, financing panels, and small business trainings attended by 1,667 prospective entrepreneurs and provided business technical assistance to another 959 individuals for a total of 2,626 people assisted. SEED’s workshops were sponsored by the following: BankNewport, Bluestone Bank, Mechanics Cooperative Bank, Dedham Institution for Savings, Santander Bank, North Easton Savings Bank, Eastern Bank, Merrimack Valley Credit Union, and Webster Bank. SEED worked closely with the SBA, SBA resources partners including the Small Business Development Center, SCORE, Center for Woman and Enterprise, Veterans Business Outreach Center, as well as the local chambers of commerce, and various community organizations to present the workshops. SEED also joined 64 additional panels and workshops to present our information and other financial related topics.
SEED is a non-profit corporation established in 1982 to assist small businesses in the region. In 40 years, SEED has made 2,4002 loans totaling $436 million, and assisting in the creation of 14,300 new jobs. Our lending has also leveraged an additional $878 million dollars of private investment in the region!
For a loan application and more information about SEED's loan programs, please call 508-822-1020 or visit SEED at www.seedcorp.com.