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Pictured, left to right: Lisa Seeley, Branch Manager of Bangor Saving Bank; Sean Daye, Business Banking and CRA Officer from Machias Savings Bank; James Pineau, Senior Area Manager for the US Small Business Administration Maine District; Erica Buswell, Project Manager for Land Protection and Beginning Farmers from the Maine Farmland Trust; and Charles Rudelitch, Executive Director of the Sunrise County Economic Council.

The Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC) was pleased to host the Small Business Administration’s Bangor Office Senior Area Manager, James Pineau for an introduction lunch with local lenders and non-profit loan providers. “Part of my job is about spreading the good gospel of what the SBA is,” declared Pineau.

Pineau explained that the SBA is focused around three “Cs”: Capital, Contracting and Counseling. The SBA guarantees loans to help small businesses start, grow and succeed. “We understand that small businesses and start-ups don’t always have all the capital or experience a bank might want,” said Pineau. “In guaranteeing loans, banks can be assured that up to 75% of the loan is secured.”

“We try to be flexible” said Bangor Savings Bank Branch Manager, Lisa Seeley. “We work with our borrowers and SBA loan guarantees give us one more tool to help them.”

The SBA also assists small businesses with federal procurement contracts. “Twenty-three percent of federal purchases have to come from small businesses,” explained Pineau. “The SBA can facilitate that.”

Finally, the SBA offers a network of mentors and business counselors to help small businesses get started and plan for their future. “Our resources are here, but we can’t help if no one knows about us until it is too late,” said Pineau.

“We see it as part of our role at the SCEC to expand awareness of SBA programs. It is our goal to help people better understand the types of assistance that are available,” said Charles Rudelitch, the SCEC Executive Director.

To learn more about the SBA and its various forms of assistance, visit their website at https://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants or call the district office at 207-622-8551.