Financing Business Opportunity  

November  2015
In This Issue
Client Spotlight
USDA Grant
Board Member Spotlight
Microloan Funds
Educational Opportunity
Partner News
Community Input: Mobile Food Trucks
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From the Executive Director
The Thanksgiving origin story we all grew up with says that it was a celebration of the Pilgrim's first successful harvest in the New World. The first official Thanksgiving, however, was proclaimed in 1863 by President Lincoln in the midst of the Civil War to provide a unifying activity for the country. No matter which Thanksgiving origin you choose to honor, the first Thanksgiving was about community.  We can follow their example by celebrating community successes this holiday season.

At AEDC we are thankful for our successful business clients and successful funding collaborations. We value our amazing board of directors and dedicated staff. We appreciate the opportunity to purchase our own building and the opportunity to grow and evolve as an organization.

We are not alone in having a lot to celebrate. I'm sure everybody reading this can find some reason to be thankful for our community. We can recognize the longevity and growth of our favorite businesses. We can be thankful for the availability of resources that allow us to help address the issues that are important to us, whether it's feeding the hungry or helping children learn to read. We can be grateful for the beauty of our environment. We could even have a very traditional thankfulness for the plentiful harvest of foods that make up our Thanksgiving feast, produced right here in Humboldt. (For more on that, see Humboldt Made's Pop Up Event on Small Business Saturday here.) 

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and enjoy the harvest of our collective community efforts.  

Client Spotlight   

Cutting Loose Hair Salon

When Shelly Wheeler, owner of Cutting Loose Hair Salon,  learned she was losing the lease to the building where her business existed for over 20 years, she started looking at other options. After careful consideration, she decided that purchasing her own building would be the best choice for her business.

Wheeler came to AEDC after hearing about SBA 504 loans but unfortunately, the nature of her business did not fit in the qualifications of a traditional 504, which consists of a loan secured from a private sector lender covering up to 50% of the project cost combined with a loan from AEDC covering 40% of the total cost. This allows the borrower to buy a building with only 10% down.  

AEDC worked with Coast Central Credit Union (an AEDC partner) to put together a loan package with terms similar to the SBA 504 loans, which allowed Wheeler to get her new building. "I am thankful to AEDC for working diligently to help me acquire a loan for my business," Wheeler said. "My experience working with the AEDC was pleasant and they were patient with me when I had to gather info for the loan."


AEDC Receives $
25,000 from USDA for their 
Local Food Promotion Program   

AEDC was recently awarded $25,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture Local Food Promotion Program (USDA-LFPP) to be used for a Meat Processing Feasibility Study in partnership with Greenway Partners. The study will assess the viability of locating a facility at  Redwood Acres in Eureka. 

"Humboldt County farmers are producing more meat these days and they are looking for local processing operations to create value-added products," said Fawn Scheer, operations manager for Greenway Partners. "While there are facilities for a small amount of beef, currently products including hogs, lamb, goat, poultry and rabbits are processed on-farm or over 200 miles away. This project will identify a viable operation for processing locally grown livestock and poultry." 

Working with Redwood Acres, the process will
  • Identify producers, distributors and consumers
  • Identify operational requirements for the facility
  • Reach out to potential business partners and operators
  • Conduct community and stakeholder outreach
  • Prepare a facility design and business plan

AEDC and Greenway Partners have worked together on several projects, including the Arcata Volunteer Fire Department remodel, Humboldt Trails Council trail development and the Sequoia Park Zoo exhibit. This is the first project where they have partnered from the on-set of the project. 
AEDC Board Member Spotlight 

Mandy Marquez 

US Bank V ice President Relationship Manager Team Lead  Mandy Marquez began serving on the AEDC loan committee in 2005 and joined the Board of Directors in 2012.

"My personal goal is, and has always been, to be a part of an organization that focuses on long term economic sustainability and job creation," Marquez said. "I am so lucky that my involvement with AEDC directly supports this goal by providing capital to higher risk borrowers that would otherwise be prevented from starting or growing their business."

Marquez uses her back ground in commercial lending and management in her service to AEDC and appreciates diversity of its Board members. "We come from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences,  which truly affords us the opportunity to really  think about all aspects of our organization and the communities we serve," she said. "That diversity is the real strength of this organization."

Marquez was born in Garberville and raised in Southern Humboldt. She attended College of the Redwoods and Utah State University before  returning to Humboldt County. According to Marquez, her local childhood experiences have increased her appreciation for one AEDC program in particular.  

"As a kid growing up in a small town, I was always  encouraged to contribute to my community either through girl scouts, 4-H or my school, working hard fundraising and volunteering every chance I got. These  values have stuck with me. AEDC sponsored Lemonade Day provides that same platform for today's youth. The entrepreneurship of making, marketing and selling their products as well as donating a portion of the proceeds to a local cause.... that is true commitment to community for generations to come. These kids are our future business owners, teachers and consumers and I love that we get to be a part of this learning experience."
In addition to serving on the AEDC Board, Marquez is a board member for the North Coast Regional Land Trust, Humboldt County Fair Jr. Livestock Auction Committee, member of Soroptimist International of Eureka and incoming School Board member for the Hydesville Elementary School District.


AEDC receives funding for micro-loan lending
AEDC has been awarded $300,000 in revolving loan funds from the Small Business Administration (SBA)  Microloan Program. The funds will be available to business owners for fixed rate loans up to $50,000 in the following counties:

SBA Logo
  • Humboldt
  • Del Norte
  • Lake
  • Mendocino
  • Shasta
  • Siskiyou
  • Trinity 
Businesses can use the funds to start their business, purchase inventory or equipment, expand a business or make leasehold improvements and for working capital.

As a not for profit lender, AEDC provides business funding to entrepreneurs who don't have access to capital from traditional sources. "These loans often serve the business start ups, or for those businesses taking their small business to the next level," says Ross Welch, executive director of AEDC. "In the last ten years, nearly $2 million in microloan funds have been lent out in our region."  

For thirty years, AEDC has strengthened the economic infrastructure of local communities by providing funding for new and growing businesses. Through various loan programs, AEDC can provide loans from $5,000 to $5 million for various commercial projects.

Educational Opportunity

Tax Credit Workshop Topic: 
California Competes Tax Credit Workshop

The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit available to businesses that want to come to California or stay and grow in California.

To Qualify
A business must create jobs in California- For example, a Humboldt County business seeking to buy new equipment and expand its number of employees would qualify.
The program has approximately $200 million in tax credits available during the 2015-16 fiscal year for businesses that want to expand in or relocate to California.

Attend this FREE workshop to  to learn how to apply for this tax credit program.  Small, medium, and large businesses are encouraged to attend.

December 7th from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

Eureka City Hall, Council Chambers
531 K Street, Eureka 

Hosted by
The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)

Partner News  

Humboldt  County Economic Development Activities  

Take a look at what
 is being done to spur ECONOMIC GROWTH in Humboldt County.

Economic Development Forum
On November 6, representatives from all areas of economic development and local government met to share economic development updates, projects and issues. Presentations were made by Rob Holmlund, City of Arcata; Jack Crider, Humboldt Bay Harbor District; Larry Oetker, City of Arcata; and Regan Candelario, City of Fortuna. 

For more information or to be added to the invitation list for the next forum, please c ontact 

Susan Seaman, AEDC (707) 822-4616 ext. 12,

Hosted by: Redwood Coast Rural Action

Maker's Space Meeting 

Interested folks met on November 10 to explore the possibility of creating a Maker's Space in Humboldt county. A Maker's Space is a creative, DIY space where people can gather to create, invent, and learn. Many spaces have 3D printers, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies and tools, and more.

For more information  contact Maureen Hart, RCRA (707) 407-8335

Sponsored by Redwood Coast Rural Action and Humboldt State University's Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

Prosperity Network 

The Prosperity Network , a consortium of economic development agencies, met at Redwood Acres  on November 12 for a brief meeting and a tour of the grounds, w hich is serving as a business incubator for many small and growing businesses in Humboldt County, including Hu mboldt Cider Works, Natural Decadence, Rover's Choice and more.

For more information on The Prosperity Network, contact Cindy Harrington, County of Humboldt Economic Development Division, (707) 476-4806,

Community Event  

Public Input Sought 

The Development Services Department at the City of Eureka is presenting a public workshop to discuss Mobile Food Facilities (AKA Food Trucks). The city is planning to update their ordinance and is seeking public input.
Community members are invited to attend- Especially those who may be interested in starting a mobile food business.

January, 7, 2016
6-7 p.m.
Wharfinger Building
1 Marina Way, Eureka 

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We are proud of the variety of businesses we've served over the years at AEDC. We would love to include you in our family of success stories. 


Visit to get more information about AEDC loans, events and programs. 



Ross Welch
Executive Director
(707) 822-4616 ext. 11