Small business owners and entrepreneurs have tremendous resources in our region, many of which are untapped and maybe even unknown. SEED Corporation is one of those assets that every small business owner and aspiring entrepreneur should familiarize themselves with.
SEED, South Eastern Economic Development Corporation, is a small business lender that provides financing to both start-up and existing businesses in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. As a nonprofit organization, it is an SBA-certified lender that has been providing assistance to our small business community for nearly 40 years.
Just how does SEED play a role and how is it different than a traditional bank loan? As opposed to competing with banks and credit unions, SEED acts as a partner to provide gap financing when traditional bank loans cannot be secured. Perhaps your bank can’t finance your request because of collateral, credit or number of years in business. Or maybe your industry is one that the bank can’t lend to due to regulatory factors. Maybe your bank can provide some financing, but not one hundred percent. In these cases, your bank can send your loan request to SEED or work directly with SEED to fill the financing gap.
SEED loans range from micro loans up to $50,000 and small loans up to $250,000. They also offer larger SBA 504 loans designed to work in conjunction with local lenders who want to partner on loan projects while mitigating risk. Funds can be used for a variety of uses, including refinancing, real estate, business acquisition, build-outs, inventory, working capital, furniture, fixtures and much more. SEED’s small loan programs provide term loans with reasonable rates and no pre-payment penalties, and all loans are serviced in-house.
Given the scope and the flexibility they offer, SEED loans can be appropriate for businesses of all sizes, including the vast small business community on the Cape and Plymouth County.
Beyond financing, SEED offers extensive educational opportunities for business owners looking to start up or scale their business. Through their Business Assistance Program, they offer monthly entrepreneurial workshops, individual financing consultations, business plan templates and an array of business planning assistance available through the various SBA resource partners. These services are all free.
It’s important to note that your first step when seeking financing should always be your local bank who you have an established relationship with. In fact, SEED requires that you start there for any loan request over $20,000.
The pandemic, inflation and tight labor market have a created a challenging trifecta for our business community, particularly as we enter the “high” season. It’s important to know about resources offered by organizations like SEED and others so you can potentially benefit from the wealth of support they offer. Your local banker is a trusted partner who can connect you with these valuable resources. Tap into their knowledge!