SEED Makes Loan to P&A African Market in Pawtucket, RI

The South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corporation has recently closed on a $132,800 small business loan to P&A African Market in Pawtucket using RI Commerce Funds.

P&A African Market sells groceries and other necessities to the African American community. The loan allowed the business to purchase and relocate to a 3,304 square foot building located at 855 Newport Avenue. The relocation enabled the business to expand and continue operations.

“It was a pleasure working with Amma and Catherine throughout the loan process,” stated Angela Laperriere, SEED lender.  “Our partnership with Freedom National Bank made it possible for the long-standing African market to purchase their own building and continue to service the community of Pawtucket.  I wish Amma and Catherine continued success at their new location.” The lending team for the project was Angela Laperriere and Laura Stack from Freedom National Bank, which also participated in the financing.

Owner and manager Amma Afriyie started P&A African Market in 2006. The store sells a variety of African groceries including beans, rice, Ghana bread, corn meal, and curry powder. P&E also stocks Nigerian medicine and medicated soaps which are imported from Ghana and select vendors in New York City. The store is open Monday through Saturday 9:30 am to 7:00 pm.

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.

“As a non-profit community lender, SEED will be able to make 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 for 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 amortization.

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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