SEED Selects Mass-RI Veterinary ER, Inc. of Swansea, MA “Small Business of the Year”

The South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corporation has selected Mass-RI Veterinary ER, Inc. of Swansea, Ma. as the “Small Business of the Year” for 2011.

“We are very pleased to present our Small Business of the Year award to a woman owned small business which has grown to 36 employees in these difficult economic times by providing excellent emergency and critical care to animals,” stated Maria Gooch-Smith, SEED’s executive director.

The award will be presented to Dr. Michelle A. Lampe and Aaron Morrison, co-owners of Mass-RI Veterinary ER, at SEED’s 29th Annual Meeting starting at 5:30 pm on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at White’s of Westport in Westport, Ma.

“With our region facing severe economic challenges, SEED made 110 small business loans in 2011, totaling $32.8 million, leveraging $49.8 million in private funds and creating 582 new jobs,” explained Gooch-Smith.  She added that SEED’s active portfolio of small business loans is now $109 million.

“Mass-RI Veterinary ER provides an excellent example of entrepreneurship, and quality service,” stated Gooch-Smith. “The veterinary practice started in 2005 and has grown by providing 24 hour emergency and nursing care in all aspects of veterinary medicine by a dedicated and highly skilled nursing staff,” added Gooch-Smith.

SEED’s Nominating Committee selected MASS-RI Veterinary ER from a pool of 350 candidates.  SEED’s criteria included enhancement of the region’s economy through creation of jobs, and financial performance.

Mass-RI Veterinary ER provides a broad spectrum of diagnostic procedures through in-house testing and the use of external laboratories. The facility has a well stocked pharmacy, in-hospital surgery suite, in-house digital x-ray capabilities, a closely supervised hospitalization area, and intensive care unit.

Over the last six years, annual revenues have increased by 600 percent and staff has grown from six to 36, including eight doctors of veterinary medicine. In 2007, SEED provided the practice with a $277,000 loan under the SBA 504 Program in conjunction with Greenwood Credit Union for total financing of $885,000. The financing enabled the practice to purchase a 5,100 square foot building at 477 Milford Road in Swansea to expand operations.

Michelle A. Lampe, co-owner of MASS-RI Veterinary ER, has worked as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine for 13 years.  Dr. Lampe specializes in emergency and critical care of small and exotic animals and is a member of the RI Veterinary Medical Association. Before starting her own practice in 2005, she worked at a large emergency and referral practice in Rhode Island.  In 1998, Dr. Lampe received her Doctor of Veterinary medicine from the University of Florida.

SEED will also present the “Gus Yankopoulos Regional Business Advocate of the Year” to the Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation and its long time chair, Edward Santos for their role in developing the Plymouth Industrial Park in the 1960’s and for their generous contributions to the community.  Under the guidance of the corporation, the Plymouth Industrial Park has grown to 139 businesses responsible for the creation of 3,500 jobs.

SEED will also present the “Banker of the Year” award to the lender in the region who has participated in the largest amount of loans with SEED, and exemplifies the spirit of assistance to small businesses.

The guest speaker at SEED’s Annual Meeting will be Jeanne Hulit, the New England Regional Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  At the meeting, SEED members will vote on a slate for officers, directors and members for 2012.

The slate for SEED Officers includes: Ferdinand Kelley, Chair; Richard Shafer, Vice Chair (Taunton Office of Economic and Community Development); Gerard Nadeau, Vice Chair (Rockland Trust Company); William Barnes, Treasurer; Lorraine Travers, Assistant Treasurer; William Lewis, Clerk (Bristol County Savings Bank); Roy Nascimento, Assistant Clerk (New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce); and James McEvoy, Past Chair (TD Bank).

SEED is a non-profit corporation certified in late 1982 by SBA.  SEED runs four loan programs and a Business Assistance Program.  The loan programs provide financing from $1,000 to $5.5 million to small businesses in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

SEED’s directors and members are community leaders who represent government, business, finance, and community organizations.  Members meet on an annual basis to elect a board of directors and officers.  For more information about the Annual Meeting and SEED’s programs call 508-822-1020 or visit

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