Financing Business Opportunity  

November 2016
In This Issue
AEDC Annual Meeting
Workshop Update
Special Project
Job Market Collaboration
New Biz Net Coordinator
Quick Links

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From the Executive Director
Well, nobody can say this has been a predictable month. From the thrill of a historic World Series to a Presidential election that can safely be called shocking, this past several weeks has been an emotional roller coaster, no matter who you supported.
Still, as each new day is presented to us, whether jubilant or distraught, we get up and we do our job. At AEDC, that job is to make our community better by supporting and financing opportunity for both businesses and community development projects. We also  work to support programs that improve our community one project at a time, such as participating in the Job Market's Customer Experience Competition, to recognize and celebrate the businesses who are serving our community well.
As we approach Thanksgiving, we are thankful to the community we live in and the clients we serve. We are honored to support your dreams. At this time of change, you can expect AEDC to remain your predictable, reliable partner in economic development, where we will continue financing opportunity in the regions we serve.


Learn about AEDC 
AEDC 2016 Annual Meeting Highlights 

On October  25, AEDC hosted its annual meeting filled with many highlights of the year, including: 
This is AEDC's sixth finding-free audit, making AEDC a low-risk auditee 
Even with a move to the new office, AEDC continued to see net assets grow more than $53,000 to $2.15 million in FY16. 
AEDC's loan servicing department was especially efficient this year. In July, our delinquency ratio was less than 1%, and in October, it was 0.  
2016 was the year of SBA 504 Loans for AEDC, with six loans compared to three last year.  

We also increased the dollars loaned through the SBA Microloan program by $119,500. We made loans in Del Norte, Mendocino and Humboldt Counties.    
Last year at the annual meeting, one of the biggest struggles for AEDC was finding enough funding. We were waiting to hear about funding from USDA and SBA. We were successful on both fronts.  We received $1 million from the USDA from their Intermediary Loan Program, and another $300,000 from the SBA Microloan program.  
A strategic goal for AEDC is to always look for new, diverse sources of funding. AEDC received $2 million dollars from the USDA Community Facilities Grant, with an additional $335,000 grant from Uplift America to assist in the Community Facility efforts. These are newly created funding sources, and AEDC was positioned to take advantage of these opportunities when they came up because of our community development work. 

Are you an Employer Having TroubleFinding Workforce?

On January 11, the Humboldt 2nd Chance Program i ntroduces the Dave's Killer Bread Foundation to
  • Share successes about hiring ex-offenders
  • Share best hiring practices
  • Discuss evolving good to great employees through engagement
Also learn about
  • Work Experience (WEX) Supports- provides a fully paid trainee for 3-6 months
  • On-The-Job Training (OJT) Supports- provides 50% wage reimbursement for 4-6 months 
  • Retention Supports - to ensure stable, productive employees  

Attend to Learn About Non-Traditional Channels for Recruiting Good Job Candidates

When:  Wednesday, January 11th,  1 pm to 4 pm
Where: Sequoia Conference Center
901 Myrtle Ave, Eureka
Event information:
Contact Lynette Mullen
Program Information:
Contact Connie Lorenzo
ETD Program Manager  

California Finance Consortium

Collaboration means funding

Ross Welch, AEDC Executive Director, has been working with three other Northern California economic development and finance organizations to expand capital access for businesses and non-profit organizations. This collaborative started in 2011 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the shared interests of AEDC and 3CORE in Chico, Superior California Economic Development in Redding, and the Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation in Yuba City. 
This collaboration, supported by a $2 million investment by Rabobank,  formalized its structure by forming a non-profit corporation in 2014 called the California Finance Consortium or CFC. The purpose of CFC is to help small businesses and non-profit organizations in underserved rural communities by linking capital access, business assistance, and other entrepreneurial support services. Rabobank, Wells Fargo Bank, Tri-Counties Bank, and USDA Rural Development all have provided $225,000 for CFC business planning, formation, and start-up funding.
The CFC provides a regional platform for raising loan funds that can be distributed throughout the 21-county region for business expansions and community development projects including those projects in the AEDC service region. The founding members work within a spoke and wheel business model, pooling funds that can flow within the region based on demand and need.
The CFC has raised $500,000 for the initial loan participation pool from Rabobank, Superior California Economic Development, 3CORE, and the California Endowment. This pool is expected to start by the first quarter of 2017. The long-term plan is to expand the loan participation pool up to $1.5 million over the next 3-years, based on loan demand.

Pictured: Marc Neminic, 3Core, Brenda Stranix Yuba Sutter EDC, Ross Welch  AEDC, Bob Nash, Superior California ED. 
Special Project 

USDA Grant Funds Specialty Meat Processing Feasibility

In 2015, AEDC was 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  and Redwood Acres.

The grant was used to explore the current meat processing  needs of Humboldt to identify a viable operation for  processing locally grown livestock and poultry. 

The study revealed that processing was only one 
component of the value chain that limits the  farmer's potential to raise and sell meat to consumer markets. 

In order to make a new meat processing business more viable  at Redwood Acres, the study recommended a  wide range of strategies to address the opportunities  that were presented during the research:  
  • Reduce barriers by advocating for regulatory & policy changes at the local and state level for improved waste disposal and meat inspection opportunities. 
  • Enable partnerships and investment by creating a facilities development plan and establishing long term contracts with private entities to attract investments. 
  • Increase education about local meat production and processing through events, educational programs and promotional activities. 
  • Enhance capacity to coordinate value chain needs,such as cold storage, transportation and business incubator services. 
This  REPORT  provides a project overview,  market overview, overview of Redwood Acres, specialty  meat processing information, and conclusions and recommendations


AEDC and Greenway Partners work together to plan, develop and fund community development projects in our region. Other projects they have worked on include the Arcata Volunteer Fire Department new facility, Humboldt Trails Council trail development and the Sequoia Park Zoo exhibit.

Job Market Collaboration

Participants in the Job Market Customer Experience Competition present the Customer Service Award to Primal Decor staff.

Five Humboldt businesses looking for some outside perspective on how well they're doing recently enlisted the help of The Job Market.
The Farm Store, Humboldt Herbals, Bucksport Sporting Goods, Primal Décor and Humboldt Republic Clothing Co. had Job Market-trained secret shoppers come through their retail establishments and grade them on several categories of customer experience.
It was The Job Market's first use of a free secret shopper program and a pilot run for a Customer Experience competition. The goal was to help local businesses improve how they're communicating with their customers. 
The shops were graded on quality of greeting, the offer of assistance and solutions, wrap-up, as well as the professionalism of staff throughout the process. A second tier of scrutiny judged window dressing and store cleanliness among other aesthetic attributes.  

The Job Market secret shoppers reported that all of the businesses exhibited courteous and knowledgeable staff but the winner was the Eureka body art studio Primal Décor. Primal Décor was praised for its "deep devotion through every aspect of the shopper's experience," the secret shoppers reported.
All five participating businesses received a detailed report outlining strengths and recommendations for improvement. The Job Market offers free Customer Service trainings and Better Staffing workshops should the stores decide to make adjustments. 
The pilot was successful and will result in a wider, full-scale launch next year timed to coincide with national Customer Service week.

The Job Market serves both job seekers and employers and is a collaboration of the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services' Employment Training Division in partnership with other workforce service providers. For more information about services, call 707-441-JOBS (5627). 

AEDC Staff  
Susan Seaman
Program Director 

When Susan Seaman came to AEDC in March 2007, she brought over twenty years of community outreach experience in Humboldt County. Before working for AEDC, she worked for KEET-TV serving as a public information director and early childhood education program coordinator. Her interest in economic development came after she and her husband bought a general store in Fieldbrook. She said that having gone through the process of applying for a business loan, working with the local SBDC, going through the challenges of owning a business during the recession, and ultimately not having the business work out, has given her a distinctive perspective at her job. "Failing at business taught me a million lessons that I used today to understand the struggles of a small business owner."   

Seaman says she loves the breadth of her job, from working with the smallest new businesses to helping tackle larger economic development issues. At this moment in time, she's passionate about engaging and retaining young professionals in Humboldt. She thinks the key to organizational success in this field is collaboration, trying new things and dreaming big -- and having leadership that embraces those ideals, while being fiscally conservative enough to make sure AEDC stays solvent. 

Seaman serves on the City of Eureka's Economic Development Commission. She is also an ambassador for the California Association of Local Economic Development (CALED), and serves on the advisory committees for the HSU Center for Community Based Learning and Next Gen Eureka. In her free time, she is a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Coast.

SBA 504 Becomes the 
SBA Grow Loan
SBA Logo   

SBA 504 Current
  • Low down payment for borrowers
  • Competitive fixed interest rate
  • Long Term loan
  • From $50,000 to $5 million for commercial real estate, construction and equipment acquisition.
Many commercial loans available on the market require a sizeable percentage down before the loan will be granted, and this can be an obstacle for many business owners looking to improve their facilities. The SBA 504 Loan offers a solution for that -- you can borrow up to 90% of your financing needs at a fixed rate, so only a minimum of 10% down is required.
The remainder is split between the SBA loan (40%) and a bank loan (50%), and the Arcata Economic Development Corporation will work with your bank to submit your loan application. Loan amounts range from $50,000 to $5 million, and some restrictions apply.

Some refinancing is also eligible through the 504 Refinance Program. This was made permanent in late May of 2016. It will help small business owners ease their financial burdens and create incentives for potential expansion and further job creation.  

The 504 loan program, with is long term fixed-rate can help refinance debt from adjustable rate loans with significant savings to borrowers. For more information about this newly re-instated program, contact us at AEDC.

Kelli Sterling
Loan Manager
(707) 798-6132  Ext 214

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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) 798-6132 ext. 211