BOSTON -- The Massachusetts U.S. Small Business Administration Office has approved its first Community Advantage loan to Randolph-based Lamour Counseling and Consulting Clinic in participation with Taunton-based South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corp.
The Community Advantage pilot program is designed to expand access to lower dollar loans and lending in traditionally underserved communities. SBA and U.S. Department of Commerce studies have shown the importance of lower dollar loans to small business formation and growth in underserved communities.
“The pilot is specifically aimed at expanding access to capital for small business owners by opening SBA’s 7(a) Loan Guaranty to community-based financial institutions like SEED,” said SBA Massachusetts Director Robert H. Nelson. “Community Advantage loan borrowers also benefit from the management and technical assistance expertise of these community lenders.”
“We are very pleased to have been designated as a Community Advantage Lender under the SBA 7(a) program, and to have been able to assist Lamour Counseling with a loan,” said Maria Gooch-Smith, executive director, SEED Corp. “As a Community Advantage Lender, SEED will be able to make loans of up to $150,000 to deserving small businesses in their start-up phase, or with a collateral shortfall.”
Lamour, a community-based, holistic counseling and consulting clinic, is owned and operated by Patrice Lamour. Founded in 2007, thirty employees address the multicultural counseling needs of its diverse client base. Lamour specializes in helping adults, children and families address their needs within the context of their communities. The loan will be used to purchase a client software system and for working capital.
“SEED and SBA provided me with access to funds which will assist to increase productivity, accuracy and efficiency in the clinic’s administration and will help create jobs,” said Patrice Lamour, founder and CEO of Lamour Counseling.
Studies have shown that small businesses in underserved communities are among the hardest hit by the recent economic downturn and helping them to recover, expand and create jobs will strengthen their local communities.
For more information about the Community Advantage Loan Program, go to: www.sba.gov/ma