This story was originally published in the August 2019 edition of the Chamber Exchange newspaper. To receive hard copies of the newspaper, contact Director of Communications Emily Gowdey-Backus, in addition, a digital copy can be viewed here.
It was an eventful spring for the Worcester Business Development Corporation’s Small Business Administration 504 Loan department.
Per WBDC President and CEO Craig L. Blais, local administration of the program now accounts for 40 loans totaling $27 million.
Evidenced by two loans awarded in the first half of 2019, “our portfolio and success rate continue to grow,” he said.
A federally-funded initiative, the SBA 504 loan program provides small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate loans in partnership with banks local to each firm. This combination of local and federal funding supports the efforts of U.S. small businesses. More than 67,000 small businesses nationwide have utilized SBA programs in the past year.
On May 9, N.H.- based Roedel Companies; in partnership with Berlin, Mass.- based developer Riverbridge North; celebrated the grand opening of the Homewood Suites by Hilton Boston- Marlborough in Berlin. The hotel’s opening marked the newest extended-stay property to open in the region in more than a decade and the first in the Roedel portfolio.
In this case, the WBDC, together with CDC New England, funded 21 percent of the more-than-$12- million loan alongside Eastern Bank’s 59 percent leaving the borrowers to cover 20 percent.
“The growing volume of business and recreational travelers to the Boston-Marlborough market, combined with limited lodging accommodations, provided a clear opportunity to introduce an upscale, suite-style product to the region,” said David Roedel, business development officer of Roedel Companies, in a statement.
The 105-room hotel targets business travelers with a mix of studios and one-bedroom suites. Corporate demand generators – such as General Electric, IBM and Raytheon – are located in close proximity to the property. Additionally, New England Sports Center, Solomon Pond Mall, The International Golf Club, and Juniper Hill Golf Course are expected to sustain year-round business for the hotel.
It includes a 24-hour business center and a 750 square-foot conference room with an additional 300 square feet of breakout space. Rounding out the property are an outdoor, half-court basketball court, outdoor kitchen, indoor swimming pool, and a 24-hour fitness center.
A little more than one month later, Holden welcomed a new business, Quinn’s Blue Plate, on June 18.
Situated on the former site of the Blue Plate Lounge, the building was demolished to make room for the 100-seat pub-style restaurant owned and operated by Tim Quinn, owner of Quinn’s Irish Pub in Worcester.
“Expanding with a second location on Main Street in Holden is an ideal progression for our family-style, relaxed-pub atmosphere providing good food at reasonable prices using products that change with the seasons,” said Mr. Quinn of taking on the project.
Similar to the hotel, Mr. Quinn pursued the $1.1 million project through an SBA 504 loan via the WBDC and UniBank.
Joyce A. Stewart is the executive director of SBA and Finance at the Worcester Business Development Corporation.