You want to run your business and make it as successful as possible. You also often need external financial or technical expertise. But staying up to date on all the various sources of financial and technical assistance is a time consuming process - and as you've read here many times before - time is money. Today's installment focuses on a national resource that is a lot closer than you may know.
Seedco, Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation, was founded in 1986. Seedco is a national community development operating intermediary and has programs designed to help small businesses and workforce development. Seedco engages with community partners and anchor institutions to develop, operate and learn from model programs that assist small businesses and help people join the workforce.
I was impressed by the scope of Seedco's services and programs. Seedco is committed to innovative, high-impact program development and delivery. Seedco provides intensive financial and technical assistance to their network of neighborhood-based partners, which enables them to launch model projects.
Model projects Seedco provides include fully developed business plans and financing strategies, program protocols, and web-based information systems that can be adapted to local needs. To help community partners achieve their goals, Seedco provides intensive technical assistance and capacity building services, focusing on program implementation that leads to measurable outcomes. One tool that Seedco uses to assist organizations is its Performance Measurement & ManagementSM (PM&MSM;) process, a technical assistance process that helps organizations plan, measure, improve, and be accountable for programs. PM&M; helps managers articulate outcomes, collect data about these outcomes, and use that data to make and implement informed decisions.
Through its Financial Services division, Seedco provides low-cost financing for community-based organizations undertaking development activities. They also help community groups gain access to pre-operational and recoverable grants to enable them to absorb some of the early costs associated with developing business plans and other activities that build their organizations' assets.
Seedco's economic development initiatives focus on supporting small businesses. Seedco combines financial, technical, and workforce assistance to support communities with a high concentration of small businesses, a large resident population of low-wage workers, and ample opportunity for commercial investments. Seedco also invests in anchor development projects that benefit small businesses and low-wage workers.
How It Works
Seedco takes two primary approaches to economic development:
1. Place-based economic development strategies work on the premise that concentrating assistance in distressed neighborhoods creates opportunities for the entire community.
2. Sectoral economic development activity targets specific clusters of businesses in high-growth and emerging industries to meet current and future workforce and economic development needs and to capitalize on new opportunities.
Place-based economic development activity is implemented through the
Neighborhood Economies Initiative (NEI)
. Seedco's innovation with NEI is to integrate economic and workforce development strategies to maximize the impact of its work in disadvantaged neighborhoods. NEI is a natural outgrowth of Seedco's 19-year history as a leader in promoting entrepreneurship and supporting small business activity in low-income communities, and operating workforce development programs that place more than 3,000 disadvantaged workers in jobs every year.
As part of Seedco's Neighborhood Economies Initiative, loans up to $100,000 can be made to qualified small businesses in target communities in New York. Borrowers can utilize the funds for acquisition and pre-development costs, new construction, rehabilitation, leasehold improvements, equipment, fixed asset purchases, working capital, and loan fund capital. Seedco Financial Services (SFS) Small Business Loans are primarily accessed through Seedco's community partners. In New York City, small businesses can also access the SFS Small Business Loan Fund through the NYC Business Solutions Centers in Upper and in Lower Manhattan.
For information about eligibility, underwriting criteria and the application process, please contact Seeco:
Fax: (212) 473-0357
Web site: www.seedco.org