From a family owned car wash to a brewery, a number of businesses in town have been helped by a revolving loan fund that was established in 2010, according to officials.
The fund is run by the Regional Economic Development Center, said REDC President Laruel Bistany, who a gave a presentation on the fund at the council’s Feb. 21 meeting.
A private non-profit organization, the REDC offers such services as business development training and financing through various funding sources. Based in Raymond, it covers all of Rockingham County and part of Hillsborough County. It offers assistance through a multi-million dollar revolving loan fund to help businesses that can’t get some or all of their funding from a traditional bank, Bistany said during the presentation.
In 2010, Derry officials asked the REDC to run the town’s dormant revolving loan fund. The fund initially had some activity then sat dormant for a long time, she said.
Officials wanted an organization with experience in working with clients and the ability to offer technical assistance.
The fund was set at $250,000 and the first loan was made in 2010. The funding range runs from $5,000 to $50,000, Bistany said. Interest rates start at 6 percent and range up to 7.5 percent in general.
Some of the clients that have been helped over the years include Watersedge Spa, which relocated from Londonderry to Derry.
In addition, Royal T Carwash, at 20 Folsom Road, was helped through the fund. Through funding help, the owner who had been there for 20 years was able to finally buy the car wash and operate it with his family, Bistany said.
“It was a really nice story,” Bistany said
Firefly Salon, at 35 Manchester Road, 10a, was able to renovate and convert an unused area in the rear of the building and add more stylists to grow their business, Bistany said.
And the fund helped with the startup of Kelsen Brewery, at 80 N. High St., she said.
After helping the local businesses, the fund has dwindled from $250,000 to only about $30,000, Bistany said.
“The money remains Derry’s money, we are just the stewards of it right now,” she said.
The REDC works with businesses and also provides a full host of services including marketing, website design, Quick Books instruction and financial review.
“There’s really a whole suite of services that come along with their loan and they aren’t ever charged for that,” she said.
Councilor Richard Tripp said he was impressed by what he heard about the fund and the REDC’s work.
“It sounds like you’re doing a wonderful job,” Trip said.
Also in the meeting, Councilor Jim Morgan asked if the money used for loans could be recalled in an emergency, and Bistany said it could.
Morgan, said that money from the fund is used to help citizens and business owners in Derry to fund their particular businesses and to bring jobs to town.
“This is part of the economic development wheelhouse and we need to have those type of assets in the wheelhouse,” Morgan said.
The REDC is located in Raymond, at 57 Main St.
Terri Pastori, chair of the Economic Development Advisory Committee praised Bistany for her efforts and the work of the REDC.
“Look at the lineup of businesses who’ve been able to get this funding; they are valuable assets in our town.”
Pastori said there is general consensus of the EDAC that the revolving loan “was something worthy of serious consideration because it gives the town a little something to bridge that gap for small businesses that want to open up in the Town of Derry.”