SEED Selects Barrett Distribution Centers, Inc. of Franklin, MA as “Small Business of the Year” and Happier In My Home, Inc. of Somerset, MA As “Start-Up Small Business of the Year”


The South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corporation has selected Barrett Distribution Centers, Inc. of Franklin, Ma. as “Small Business of the Year” and Happier in My Home, Inc., of Somerset, Ma. as “Start-Up Small Business of the Year” for 2013.

SEED will also present the Regional Business Advocate of the Year award to Denis Hanks, the former Executive Director of the Plymouth Regional Economic Development Foundation and the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce, at its 31st Annual Meeting at 5:30 pm on Thursday, November 21st at White’s of Westport.

“We are very pleased to present our Small Business of the Year award to Barrett Distribution Centers, a family owned business which has grown to 175 employees in uncertain economic times by providing state-of-the-art and cost effective warehousing, distribution and transportation services to their clients,” stated Maria Gooch-Smith, SEED’s executive director.

“Happier in My Home truly deserves to be recognized as the Start-Up Small Business of the Year for taking on the challenge of providing a much needed community service while creating 18 jobs in the last three years,” added Gooch-Smith.

“With the economy still lagging, SEED made 103 small business loans in 2013, totaling $33 million, leveraging $46 million in bank loans and private funds, and creating 636 new jobs,” explained Gooch-Smith.  She added that SEED’s total current active portfolio of small business loans is $109 million.

“Barrett Distribution Centers provides an excellent example of entrepreneurship, and sound management,” stated Gooch-Smith. The business, which is presently owned and managed by brothers Arthur and Timothy Barrett, was established as a single warehouse in 1941, and has grown to 14 strategic locations with more than 2 million square feet of state-of-the-art warehousing across the U.S.

SEED’s Nominating Committee selected Barrett Distribution Centers from a pool of 380 candidates.  SEED’s criteria included enhancement of the region’s economy through job creation, and financial performance.

Barrett serves more than 100 customers in industries from consumer goods to automotive parts and online retail markets. The company has invested in technology and systems, and developed their employees in order to design and deliver supply chain solutions responsive to the needs of Fortune 500 companies, as well as new leaders of online retail and fast moving consumer goods.

In the last three years, sales have grown by 141 percent to an annualized $38.8 million, and employment has nearly doubled to 175.  This September, Barrett was named to the 2013 Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies for the fifth year in a row. Barrett has also been named to the GXT Green Honor Roll for making a significant investment in solar panel installation and other improvements to mitigate their carbon footprint and climate impact.

In 2007, SEED provided Barrett Distribution Centers with a $1.9 million loan under the SBA 504 Program in conjunction with financing from Bank of America for the purchase of their leased 260,000 square foot facility on 20 acres of land in the industrial park in Franklin, Ma. Again in 2013, SEED provided the company with a $650,000 SBA 504 loan for the installation of solar panels.

“Happier in My Home, the Start-Up Small Business of the Year, has a highly trained and certified staff which provides much needed services to our aging population, and enables those who need assistance with the activities of daily living to remain in their home” stated Gooch-Smith.

In 2009, Kathleen Sanderson was inspired by her grandmother to start up Happier in My Home, Inc. to provide skilled personal care, housekeeping and companionship, Alzheimer’s care, and respite care to those like her grandmother who need assistance with their daily activities. Susan Baker, the clinical director and co-owner with her daughter Kathleen Sanderson, has 30 years of experience as a Geriatric, Psychiatric and Orthopedic nursing professional.

SEED provided the small business with a $20,000 micro loan for working capital to start-up operations in Dighton, Ma. Today, Happier in My Home is located in Somerset, Ma. and serves southeastern Massachusetts with 37 full and part time employees. Sales have grown to over quarter of a million.

The “Gus Yankopoulos Regional Business Advocate of the Year” award will be presented to Denis Hanks, the former executive director of the Plymouth Regional Economic Development Foundation and the Plymouth Area Chamber of commerce, for his exceptional contribution to the region’s economic development over several years.

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 is Seth Goodall, 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 2014. The slate for SEED Officers includes: Gerard Nadeau, Chair (Rockland Trust Company); Richard Shafer, Vice Chair (Taunton Development Corporation); Robert Reisner, Vice Chair (Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank); Lorraine Travers, CPA, Treasurer; Paul Anghinetti, Assistant Treasurer (Bank of America); William Lewis, Clerk (Bristol County Savings Bank); Roy Nascimento, Assistant Clerk (New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce); and Ferdinand Kelley, Past Chair.

SEED is a non-profit corporation certified in late 1982 by the SBA.  SEED runs three 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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