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American Dream: Superior California Economic Development

Author by Cornerstone Community Bank
Friday, July 29, 2016

Building one’s own business from the ground up is truly the American dream. Sadly, somewhere between conjuring up a viable idea and breathing sustainable life into it, the complexities of the process force many would-be entrepreneurs to abandon these dreams.

What would happen, however, if a seasoned business professional could intervene, and help buoy that optimistic entrepreneur by sharing 35 years’ worth of wisdom from the industry?

That’s where the Superior California Economic Development (SCED) comes in, providing business financing assistance, loan readiness consultation and business training and counseling referrals for small business owners. Since 1980, they have worked to create stable, long-term economic opportunities in the private sector throughout Northern California.

SCED offers small business development financing assistance for startup, emerging and expanding small businesses in Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity and Tehama Counties. “We’ve been doing this since 1980,” says Chief Executive Officer Bob Nash, a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional who has been with SCED for 26 years. “Loans are for businesses whose financing needs may not quite fit their bank at the moment, or the bank may want a companion loan in the project to provide a select part of the financing needed. This business development loan program is truly a ‘gap’ loan program, as the loan fills a temporary gap in the financing needs of a business. This loan program is mission-based with job creation being the primary criteria, leveraging bank financing being the other.”

SCED also provides Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 Loans, which are a companion loan with the borrower’s bank for business real estate acquisition, and can be up to $12 million when combined. 

But that’s not all that SCED brings to the table. Commercial real estate loans are available to clients throughout Northern California, and business loans are provided to small businesses in Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, and Trinity counties. Because they’re small, they handle each deal personally, providing accountability and a personal touch for both the borrower and the lender. When entrepreneurs access the Small Business Administration 504 Loan Program through SCED, they can own rather than lease commercial real estate.

SCED is a designated Economic Development District, covering Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity counties. It offers economic development planning assistance to local and regional government entities in Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity counties. This can be delivered in the form of technical assistance for developing grant proposals for economic development projects, or acting as a liaison between businesses, community groups and state and federal agencies. SCED can also work with community action groups to strategize for the future, building plans that often lead to projects that SCED representatives see all the way through to implementation.

The organization is headed by Nash, who enjoys staying in touch with up-and-coming entrepreneurs and the local economy. Ryan Richardson is Director of Loan Programs for SCED, and he joined the team in 2005. He’s a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional.