Access to Capital

Boston Local Development Corporation

About Us

The Boston Local Development Corporation (BLDC) works to increase employment opportunities for Boston residents by providing small business loans with a focus on commercial, industrial and service companies.

The BLDC is a private 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation governed by an independent board of trustees. The day to day operation of the program is provided by the Boston Redevelopment Authority's financial services department.

The following Trustees are elected by the membership of the BLDC:

  • John K. Dineen
  • John E. Marston
  • Michael F. Burke
  • Frank L. Davis III
  • Marvin E. Gilmore
  • Marijo McCarthy
  • Reginald A. Nunnally
  • Thomas M. Young
  • E. Renee LeFevre

Loans

In the last fifteen years, the BLDC has provided $14 million in small business loans while successfully leveraging over $81 million through collaborations with Boston’s banking community. The loan funds have helped create and retain more than 2,800 Boston jobs.

  1. The Standard BLDC Loan Fund is available for existing businesses, new ventures, and businesses relocating to the City of Boston. These loans range from $25,000 to $150,000.
  2. The Backstreets Boston Back-up Loan Program provides financing for Boston companies in the industrial and manufacturing sectors. These loans differ from our standard program in that loan amounts can reach upwards of $250,000.

Our Loans can be used to:

  • support the working capital needs of a growing small business,
  • assist in the purchase of a new business property,
  • fund construction of leasehold improvements,
  • purchase new equipment and machinery,
  • construct an addition to an existing plant,
  • and provide for expanded inventories.

A critical component of BLDC financing is participation with local lenders. The BLDC coordinates with Boston's banking community to provide gap financing through subordinated debt.

Loan Process

  1. Credit Requirements: BLDC Loans are underwritten using standards common to the banking industry. Credit reports are run on all company principals. Credit packages should include:
  2. Eligibility: BLDC loan applicants include businesses located in the City of Boston, those seeking to relocate, or those creating a new enterprise in the City. The borrower may be a corporation, LLC, partnership, sole proprietor, or in some instances, a realty trust.
  3. Job Creation: BLDC loan funds are provided to support the attraction and retention of jobs for the residents of Boston. BLDC programs will target businesses that have a history of, and a demonstrable potential for, job creation.
  4. Timeline: Requests can be processed within thirty to sixty days of a complete financing package submission. Application processing time is dependent on the quality and completeness of the package submitted by the applicant.
    • three years of tax returns (if applicable),
    • financial statements,
    • three years projections,
    • a recent balance sheet,
    • and a recent profit and loss statement.

Other items may include an aging of payables, receivables, inventory, appraisals, and other information specific to the loan request.

  • Guarantees: The BLDC requires the Personal Guaranty of all principals owning 20% or more of the borrowing entity.
  • Loan Security: Loan securities include the assets of the business. A requirement for additional loan security is usually provided by real estate owned by the business and/or the business principals that is sufficient to secure the debt.
  • Interest Rates: The BLDC uses the Wall Street Journal Prime Rate plus 2% for its benchmark interest rate.  However, there is a minimum/floor rate of 6.5%. The borrower’s rate is based on the applicable rate three days prior to closing.
  • Fees: There is an origination fee equal to one percent of the BLDC loan amount. If applicable, there may be a credit processing fee corresponding to the complexity of the loan. The borrower is responsible for all attorneys’ fees.

Success Stories

  • The BLDC recently closed a loan to Lopes Memorial Services, a new minority owned funeral home in Mattapan. This project is an example of a smaller BLDC loan that filled a funding gap and facilitated a much larger bank loan. The $50,000 BLDC loan in subordinate debt made a $200,000 loan from  East Boston Savings Bank possible. While providing much needed services for all of Mattapan, this funeral home has a particular focus on the Cape Verdean community.
  • AB Seafood, a fish processing company in the Newmarket District, planned to greatly expand their operating space and create a number of new jobs. To support this project, the BLDC was able provide $150,000 in financing through its Backstreets loan fund. This expansion will create at least ten new jobs and retain another twenty. Financing allowed AB Seafood to continue paying bonuses to experienced fish cutters who train entry level employees.  As a result previously unskilled employees were able to advance to better paying jobs within the company.

Other recent BLDC clients:

  • Boston Common Coffee in Downtown Crossing, financing for a new location that has become their most popular. 
  • Seafood Specialties, the first LEED certified seafood processor in Boston's Innovation District (link to ID);
  • Imported Foods, a South Boston wholesale specialty products company serving  Boston restaurants;
  • The Blue Nile, a new Ethiopian Restaurant in Jamaica Plain 
  • Color Media Group, an online Media Company that supports communication and professional growth in Boston's Communities of Color. 
  • Parkers Auto Service, financing to allow a 35 year old Dorchester auto repair shop to avoid closing and transition to a new young owner. 

Contact Us

To find out more about BLDC, feel free to reach out to Bill Nickerson, Senior Finance Manager, by email or at (617) 541-2692.