Loans Available to Brockton Businesses

Mayor Linda Balzotti announced today that the City of Brockton, the Metro South Chamber of Commerce and the Brockton 21st Century Corporation are working with the South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corporation to deliver a Micro Loan Program to the city’s small businesses.

 “We recognize that small businesses in our downtown and our neighborhoods often cannot access the small amounts of capital they need to grow and create jobs in our city, and this Micro Loan Program addresses that need,” stated Mayor Balzotti.  

 SEED Corporation has obtained $1.25 million for new micro loans and had previously established two loan funds which can provide loans up to $200,000 to Brockton’s small businesses.  

 “Micro loans are particularly important because they can provide anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 to meet working capital needs and start-up costs,” explained Maria Gooch-Smith, SEED’s executive director. “These loans are the most difficult for small businesses in their start-up phase to obtain,” added Gooch-Smith.

“Micro loans can also be made to established businesses which might not be able to obtain all the financing they need from a bank. They can be used for purchasing equipment and furniture, paying off high interest credit cards used for the business, and for working capital” stated Gooch-Smith.

The payment period on a micro loan can be from one to six years, and the current interest rate is 6 percent fixed. SEED will take business collateral and a position on personal real estate when needed to cover the loan. SEED requires that small business owners have credit scores of 600 or more, but will accept an outside guarantor when credit scores are lower or there is a limited credit history.

When an established small business needs more than $50,000, SEED can combine a micro loan with a bank loan or with other SEED loan funds. These loans are usually made for a period of five years, but can be repaid over 10 years depending on the use of the funds. The interest rate ranges from 5 to 6 percent, and is fixed.

According to Gooch-Smith, the process for obtaining a loan consists of filling out a fairly simple two page application form which can be obtained through SEED’s web site: www.seedcorp.com or by calling the Metro South Chamber of Commerce at 508-586-0500.  There is a $50 application fee.

Loan applicants will also have to provide income tax returns and personal financial statements. For start-up businesses, Gooch-Smith suggests attending one of SEED’s free monthly Business Workshops, and preparing a business plan. A Business Plan Booklet is available on SEED’s web site.

Small businesses can also obtain technical assistance from the Metro South Business Assistance Center (BAC), located inside the Metro South Chamber office at 60 School Street in Brockton.  The BAC is a one-stop shop business resource center including SCORE Counselors, the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC), Brockton 21st Century Corporation, Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office (SDO), MassDevelopment and the Small Business Administration (SBA).

SEED Corporation is a non-profit economic development organization established in 1982. 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 Micro Loan Program and SEED, please call 508-822-1020 or visit SEED’s website at www.seedcorp.com.

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