SEDC Partners with Newburyport Savings Bank on Financing Workforce Housing - The Cottages at Back River Road
John Randolph owns two assisted living facilities in Durham, Harmony Homes at Hickory Pond and Harmony Homes by the Bay. After operating these businesses for several years, he had difficulty in recruiting new employees and retaining staff. John surveyed the staff to understand challenges they were facing. He discovered employees’ biggest problem was the lack of affordable housing in the area. Some employees were traveling over an hour to get to work, either because they could not find affordable housing nearby or because they had to drop their children off at daycare before heading to work. Initially his response was to increase pay rates and benefits by 21%, but even this was not enough. John recruited his wife Maggie to help design and develop the area adjacent to Harmony on the Bay. They constructed seven 1-bedroom apartments and a childcare center for the staff. They put together an in-house construction team to keep costs down. Rents were restricted to 30% of an employee’s pay and they estimate that the development can save their employees approximately $400 a month in rent and $600 per month in childcare expenses.
While constructing these, John acquired a 7.16 acre parcel of land in Dover. The land was originally zoned for a duplex development for 55 and over housing, but the Randolphs worked extensively with the Planning Department and Planning Board to rezone the property for the larger development. This development, designed by Maggie Randolph, will consist of 44 single-family homes, each one about 400 square feet.
Newburyport Savings Bank and Strafford Economic Development Corporation are providing financial and programmatic support for the project, named The Cottages at Back River Road.
SEDC’s Dennis McCann said: “This is a modern adaptation of a tradition in New England dating back to at least the 1790’s. Early industrial revolution business owners built housing to attract workers to the “New World” to staff their newly constructed mills. The Harmony housing concepts allow the assisted living centers to keep prices affordable while providing good discretionary income to their employees. Everybody wins.”
Katherine Clarcq has recently been promoted to Assistant Director. She has been with SEDC for over 7 years, dedicated to ensuring our financial procedures remain streamlined, organized, and flawless each year. She has worked extensively and tirelessly to ensure a positive experience for our portfolio customers, especially through COVID-19 in 2020. She is a customer advocate and a true personification of our mission. We look forward to watching her grow in her new role as she supports leading SEDC in the future. Congratulations to Katherine!
George Robinson is a Financial Development Officer developing, structuring, and underwriting new lending opportunities as well as serving as a source of technical assistance to businesses, non-profits and borrowers.
A career commercial banker with over 33 years of experience, George spent 17+ years working for community banks in the Tri-City / Seacoast area prior to spending the last 14 years in the Metro Atlanta market working for one of the largest SBA and construction lenders in Georgia. With a unique ability to blend practical business requirements with the theoretical needs of lending, George brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of commercial lending including commercial and industrial, commercial real estate, construction, and special assets.
George has previously served as President of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, member of the Rochester Planning Board, and board member of a number of local non-profits.
George holds his BS in Business Management from Plymouth State University.
Esther Varnum is a current intern at SEDC. Her work has included grant research and application writing in addition to assisting in the recommendation of potential projects that are presented to the Board. She has also created a Three Statement Model in Excel that uses a business’ financial history to project their future financials.
Esther is pursuing a B.S. in Statistics at the University of New Hampshire and will graduate in the spring of 2020.
Jack Russo recently completed his internship at SEDC. His work at SEDC involved analyzing and interpreting financial spreadsheets as well as assisting in the loan application review process of potential borrowers. One of Jack’s biggest contributions to SEDC was the creation of a program that utilizes an R based logistic regression to determine the likelihood of loan repayment of a borrower.
A 2019 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Jack holds a B.S. in Information Technology with a concentration in Finance and has accepted a financial consultant position at Merchants Auto.
Financial Development Officer Matthew Norton departs SEDC after a year of service. He moves onto the NH Community Loan Fund where he will serve as Business Lender.
On June 21, 2018, Cocheco Valley Humane Society broke ground on their new facility being built on County Farm Road in Dover. We are proud to facilitate this venture through our role as a financing partner alongside Kennebunk Savings and Federal Savings Bank.
The new facility will increase the nonprofit humane society's capacity and capability in caring for animals in need here in Strafford County and Seacoast New Hampshire.
SEDC customer and director Mark Wentworth, founder and president of Green View Technologies in Rollinsford, has been named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2018 Small Business Person of the Year in New Hampshire, first and foremost of awardees statewide.
Wentworth launched Green View Technologies, a “re-refinery” for used oils, in 2010 with $4 million in SBA financing through Enterprise Bank and $1.5 million in funding through SEDC.
The company employs 15 people and processes over 4 million gallons of oil annually. An expansion planned this year has the goal of doubling GVT’s current output.
Subsequent to the yearlong process of SEDC lining up the financing that leveraged the bank funds into the project, Mark became fascinated by the role SEDC plays in assisting businesses and became the Rollinsford representative on the SEDC Board of Directors.
In December of 2017 our successful efforts to obtain and sell tax credits to fund a new position at SEDC were featured in a piece posted by ReThink Health in Cambridge, Massachusetts. By selling tax credits awarded by the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority, SEDC was able to establish a new position to assist Strafford County regional treatment and recovery centers to connect with funding to build capacity, much needed infrastructure, and support organizational stability.
ReThink Health proposes that this method of financing health initiatives be adopted to fund other regional health initiatives.
We thank ReThink Heath and Amanda McIntosh for their acknowledgement and recognition of our efforts in the region!
In March of 2018, Hope on Haven Hill in Rochester closed on financing to purchase the facility they operate in located on Rochester Hill Road. SEDC located low fixed-rate financing and acted as a liaison throughout the process. We connected Hope on Haven Hill with New Hampshire Health and Education Finance Authority and assisted with loan application and closing processes.
Congratulations to Hope on Haven Hill!