Small Business Loan Pool Gets Needed Infusion of Capital

By Charis Anderson
NEW BEDFORD — The New Bedford Economic Development Council has secured a $750,000 low-interest loan from the federal Small Business Administration that will help the council recapitalize its loan pool so it can continue to meet the lending needs of the city’s qualified small businesses, a council official said Monday.
“During this downturn, we have seen the NBEDC’s loan portfolio act as a lifeline to many important, qualified New Bedford businesses,” said Matthew Morrissey, the New Bedford Economic Development Council’s executive director. “This is an important infusion of capital into that loan portfolio so that we can continue to do the work of helping businesses retain their employees and expand their job base in the city,” said Morrissey. According to Morrissey, businesses have been hurt by the economic downtown not just because their own markets have softened but also because they’ve had a harder time accessing financing from traditional lending sources. Over the past 18 to 24 months, the New Bedford Economic Development Council has seen more businesses than usual turning to its loan pool for financing in order retain employees, and the council has responded by making more loans — and larger loans — than usual, said Morrissey.
The funds from the SBA are a needed injection into that loan pool, according to Morrissey. “With the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, we saw a decline in the availability of SBA loans through community banks,” said Mayor Scott W. Lang. “This stimulus money now makes those loans available. Through the NBEDC lending program, the SBA loan helps us help our city and its citizens in a very meaningful, tangible way.” Rep. Barney Frank said the funding extended to the New Bedford Economic Development Council demonstrates two important points. “First, the continuing contribution of the stimulus bill to our efforts to recover from the recession which President Obama inherited, and second, the good work done by Mayor Lang and his economic team in being able to qualify for these funds,” said Frank, D-Mass., in a statement. By receiving the SBA loan, the New Bedford Economic Development Council has also qualified for a grant to cover administrative costs associated with dispersing the loan money.

May 11, 2010 12:00 AM
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