SEED Makes Loan to Le Central Restaurant in Bristol, RI

The South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corporation has provided a $240,000 small business loan to Le Central Restaurant in Bristol using RI Commerce Funds.

The loan allowed the business to purchase the 2,640 square foot building it currently operates in and create two new jobs. The lending team for the project was Angela Laperriere from SEED and Thomas Beauchene from BankNewport, which also participated in the financing.

“We are pleased that our Small Business Assistance Program made this loan to Le Central possible,” stated Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. “This marks the 27th loan made to small businesses from this program. Be it through this loan program or other initiatives like our Main Street Improvement Fund or our dedicated Client Services team, we are committed to boosting small business throughout the state.”

“This was a difficult project from the beginning, but thanks to SEED’s guidance I now own the building that ensures my business’s continued success,” stated owner Jesse James. “SEED has amazing loan programs and I can’t wait to do this again!”

James, who also serves at the restaurant’s executive chef, established Le Central in 2006 and brings to the establishment over 40 years of experience in the food industry. The French bistro is known for serving primarily local ingredients in modern versions of classic French dishes. Le Central offers patrons a variety of soups, salads, entrees, and desserts, as well as a raw bar. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list, beers on tap or in bottles, and cocktails.

Le Central is located at 483 Hope Street and is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. Brunch is served on Sunday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Visit their website at

“As a non-profit community lender, SEED makes loans up to $250,000 with the RI Commerce funds,” explained Maria Gooch-Smith, SEED’s executive director. She added that loans can be made for real estate purchases or improvements for the business, and a variety of uses including working capital and refinancing of high interest rate business credit cards. The rates range from five to six percent fixed and the term on the loans can go up 10 years with longer amortizations.

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 and the SBA Micro Lender for the region. Under various programs, SEED makes loans from $1,000 up to $5.5 million to assist small businesses to grow and create jobs throughout the region.

For more information about the SBA 504 Program and other SEED loan programs, please call 508-822-1020 or visit SEED at

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