SEED’s Loans Fill Financing Gaps in R.I. Enable Businesses to Start-Up and Grow

As a regional non-profit development corporation, South Eastern Economic Development (SEED), assists small businesses in Rhode Island by filling financing gaps from $1,000 to $5 million at low fixed interest rates.

SEED works with start-up and existing small businesses, which cannot obtain bank financing, to take them through the loan application process and make micro loans up to $50,000 at six percent fixed for six years.

These loans enable small businesses to start-up or continue operations, and create new jobs and/or retain existing jobs.  The loans can be used for most business expenses including working capital, and the repayment of high interest rate credit cards used for the business.

As a complement to its small business lending mission, SEED holds free monthly entrepreneurial workshops which take prospective and existing entrepreneurs through the Business Plan process. The workshops also teach business financials to these entrepreneurs.

When, for a number of reasons, a small business cannot obtain all the financing needed to purchase commercial space, equipment or for working capital, SEED works closely with a participating financial institution to fill the financing gap which could be as much as $250,000. SEED makes these loans at five percent fixed for up to 10 years with repayment terms up to 20 years.

Under the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 Program, SEED can provide up to $5 million in participation with a financial institution for the purchase of commercial space for the business, or the acquisition of machinery and equipment with a life of 10 years.

With an SBA 504 loan in second position to a bank, the business can grow and create new jobs with as little as 10 percent down, and an interest rate under five percent fixed for 20 years.

In 2016, SEED obtained $900,000 for small business loans and $100,000 for business technical assistance from RI Commerce Corporation to augment and leverage the funds SEED has available to assist small businesses.

In 2017, with RI Commerce and SEED funds, the following small businesses were assisted:

  • Kendall Reiss, LLC, Bristol, RI, $56,000 (Participating: BankFive);
  • Sin Desserts, Providence, RI, $194,000 (Participating: Greenwood Credit Union);
  • Chessawanock Island Oyster Company, Portsmouth, RI, $75,000;
  • Home Healthsmith, Portsmouth, RI, $50,000;
  • Monumental Concrete Works, Providence, RI, $50,000;
  • Saki’s Pizzeria, Cumberland, RI, $74,000 (Participating: BankNewport);
  • The Town, Warwick, RI, $100,000.

In 2017, in participation with financial institutions, SEED made SBA 504 loans to the following businesses in RI:

  • Portsmouth Publick House, Portsmouth, RI, $336,000 (Participating: Savings Institute Bank & Trust);
  • A Child’s University, Cranston, RI, $301,000 (Participating: Webster Bank)
  • Tracey Gear, Inc., Pawtucket, RI, $190,000 (Participating: Bristol County Savings Bank).

SEED Corporation is a non-profit economic development organization certified in 1982 by the U.S. Small Business Administration.  SEED is also a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) under the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

For more information about SEED’s financing programs for Rhode Island businesses, please contact Angela Laperriere at (508) 822-1020 x 312 or Liz Voss at (508) 822-1020 x 330.

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