What do you do when you are called to testify about the success of your loan program before Congress, with less than a week’s notice? If you are Sherwood Robbins, Managing Director of the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation of Pennsylvania (Seedcopa), you relish the opportunity.
Robbins joined Seedcopa as a loan officer in 2007 after having spent more than 20 years in commercial banking. In 2012, he assumed the managing director duties. Seedcopa serves as the certified SBA Certified Development Company (CDC)).
For more than 30 years, Seedcopa has helped businesses get the money they need to start, grow and expand. As an affiliate of the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC), along with numerous other economic development partners throughout Pennsylvania, the organization has helped grow local businesses, create and retain jobs, and stimulate local communities.
It was this history of successful lending that spurred the invitation from the US House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access to a hearing titled, “A Review of SBA’s 504/CDC Loan Program.”
The hearing which took place on Thursday, June 29, reviewed the SBA’s 504/CDC Loan Program from the role of CDCs to the economic development requirements that are outlined in the program.
During his testimony, Robbins noted that Seedcopa has been a Certified Development Company for 34 years and during that time has had 644 504 loans approved.
Additionally, through the approved loans, 1 full-time job has been created for every $30,150 borrowed which far surpasses the SBA minimum requirement of 1 job per $65,000 borrowed.
As he prepared his testimony, Robbins was keenly aware of the approaching Independence Day holiday. “The timing of the hearing made really appreciate playing a part in our country’s democratic process,” he noted.
Robbins added that “this was my first time testifying before Congress and I was honored to not only represent the SBA 504/CDC industry but also share our borrowers’ real-life success stories.”
You can watch the hearing in the YouTube video at the top of this post and if you want to skip ahead to Sherwood’s testimony, go to the 31:46 mark.