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SEED Loan Fund

Character-based loan program for start-ups and existing businesses in the Capital Region of New York.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Is the SEED Program a grant program?

No, the SEED Program participants are eligible for a loan of up to $35,000 based on the character of the participant and the overall business concept.

If I am accepted into the SEED Program, am I guaranteed to get a loan?

No, following the completion of the training program all graduating participants are eligible to pitch their business model to the loan committee.  The loan committee will determine the funding based on the character of the participant and the overall business model.

Do I have to be in business to participate in the SEED Program?

No, the SEED Program accepts start-up businesses and existing business owners into the program.

If I am accepted into the SEED Program, what is expected of me?

All participants of the SEED Program will be expected to:

  1. Attend the initial program meeting.
  2. Attend all program classes (Participants that have more that 1 absence will not be allowed to pitch their business concept for funding).
  3. Complete all of the program homework assignments by the due date.
  4. Actively engage with their MBA consultants.
  5. Actively participate in all class components.

Are there any fees/costs to apply for or participate in the SEED Program?

There are no fees or costs to apply or participate in the SEED Program.

Do I really have to attend all of the virtual live training sessions?

Yes.  Each participant is allowed 1 excused absence during the program. 

If a participant misses more than 1 of the live training classes, they can continue to participate, but will not be allowed to pitch for a loan. 

If a participant misses more than 2 of the live training classes, they will be asked to leave the program.

My business has multiple owners.  Can the business apply and only one of the owners participate in the SEED Program?

If your business has multiple owners, each owner of the business must complete all aspects of the application process (application, interview, entrepreneurial assessment, credit report review and video submission), attend the initial program meeting, all program classes and the funding pitch.

If one or more partner in the business is unable/unwilling to participate in the program, the business cannot be accepted into the program and/or be considered for funding.

How does the SEED Program evaluate 'character'

The SEED Program evaluates character prior to acceptance and throughout the course of the program.  Key factors in determining an applicant/participant's character will include Criminal History, Credit Behaviors, Industry Experience. Program Participation, and Ability to Meet Deadlines.

Are there any types of businesses that the SEED Program WILL NOT accept?

Unfortunately, the SEED program is unable to accept any restaurants, cafes, bars, house flipping, real estate investment, day care centers, and pre-schools at this time.  

I need more than $35,000 to start/expand my business.  Can I use the SEED Program to leverage additional funding sources?

Rarely have SEED participants been able to utilize the SEED program as a component of a multiple source start-up/expansion.  Requirements will vary based on the project.  If you are looking to leverage multiple funding sources to start/expand your business, you will need to have all of the funding approvals and lender commitment letters in place prior to accessing any of the SEED Funding.  

What is the interest rate and term of a SEED Loan?

The SEED loan term is 84 months, with interest deferred for the initial 6 months of your loan.  The current SEED loan interest rate is 9% and there are no prepayment penalties for early payoff of your loan. *Note, interest rates are subject to change prior to the start of a program.  Check with your SEED Coordinator if you have any questions about the current interest rate prior to the start of a program.  Interest will accumulate in your loan during the 6-month deferral period.

If I apply to the SEED Program, am I guaranteed to be accepted?

No, submitting an application to the SEED Program does not guarantee that you will be accepted.  For each session, the SEED Program is able to accept between 12 and 20 applicants. 

Will participating in the SEED Program Impact my credit?

If you receive a preliminary funding approval following the loan pitch, the Broadview Federal Credit Union underwriters will make a credit inquiry with one of the three credit bureaus, which could impact your credit score for up to two years. This “hit” is usually small, sometimes less than 5 points, and depends on how many other inquiries have recently been made. Beyond the initial credit inquiry, your credit score should not be impacted as long as you make your payments on time.

How are the applicants selected to participate in the program?

All applicants are initially screened for eligibility (industry type and location).  Following the initial screening all applicants that complete the application process (completed application, submission of full credit report, submission of video introduction file, and completion of the SEED interview) are forwarded to the applicant selection committee for consideration.

Each member of the applicant selection committee reviews the application package for each applicant and rates the applicant on a scale of 1 to 5.  The scores for each applicant are averaged and the applicants with the highest scores are accepted into the program.

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SEED Program Partners

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