Updated March 30 at 4:30pm

SEED names Somerset home-care business its startup of the year

The South Eastern Economic Development Corp. has named Happier in My Home Inc. the 2013 “Startup Small Business of the Year,” the nonprofit organization announced Tuesday.

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SEED names Somerset home-care business its startup of the year


SOMERSET – The South Eastern Economic Development Corp. has named Happier in My Home Inc. the 2013 “Startup Small Business of the Year,” the nonprofit organization announced Tuesday.

“Happier in My Home truly deserves to be recognized as the Startup Small Business of the Year for taking on the challenge of providing a much-needed community service while creating 18 jobs in the last three years,” said Maria Gooch-Smith, executive director of SEED Corp.

Kathleen Sanderson founded Happier in My Home Inc. in 2009, inspired to provide personal care, Alzheimer’s care, respite care, housekeeping and companionship for those like her grandmother who needed assistance with daily activities.

Sanderson’s mother Susan Baker, who serves as the company’s clinical director and co-owner, has 30 years of experience as a geriatric, psychiatric and orthopedic nursing professional.

SEED gave Happier in My Home a $20,000 working capital microloan to finance its startup costs in Dighton. Today, Happier in My Home is located in Somerset and serves southeastern Massachusetts with 37 full- and part-time employees. The startup’s annual revenue has grown to more than $250,000.

SEED Corp. also announced Tuesday that Barrett Distribution Centers Inc. of Franklin, Mass., has been chosen to receive the 2013 “Small Business of the Year” award. SEED’s Nominating Committee selected Barrett Distribution Centers from a pool of 380 candidates, on criteria including enhancement of the region’s economy through job creation and financial performance, SEED said.

“We are very pleased to present our Small Business of the Year award to Barrett Distribution Centers, a family owned business which has grown to 175 employees in uncertain economic times by providing state-of-the-art and cost-effective warehousing, distribution and transportation services to their clients,” said Gooch-Smith. “Barrett Distribution Centers provides an excellent example of entrepreneurship and sound management.”

The business, currently owned and managed by brothers Arthur and Timothy Barrett, was established as a single warehouse in 1941 and has since grown to include 14 strategic locations across the country totaling more than 2 million square feet of warehousing space.

Barrett Distribution serves more than 100 customers in industries from consumer goods to automotive parts and online retail markets. In the last three years, sales have grown by 141 percent to an annualized $38.8 million, and the number of employees has nearly doubled. This September, Barrett Distribution was named to the 2013 Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. for the fifth year in a row.

In 2007, SEED provided Barrett Distribution with a $1.9 million loan under the SBA 504 Program in conjunction with financing from Bank of America for the purchase of its leased 260,000-square-foot facility at the industrial park in Franklin. More recently, in 2013, SEED gave the company a $650,000 SBA 504 loan for the installation of solar panels.

SEED Corp. will present the Small Business of the Year and Startup Small Business of the Year awards at its 31st annual meeting, to be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, at White’s of Westport.

At the event, SEED will also present the “Gus Yankopoulos Regional Business Advocate of the Year” award to Denis Hanks, former executive director of the Plymouth Regional Economic Development Foundation and the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce. SEED’s “Banker of the Year” award will be revealed at the meeting and will be presented to the regional lender who has participated in the highest number of loans with SEED and “exemplifies the spirit of assistance to small businesses.”

Seth Goodall, the New England regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, will feature as the guest speaker for the event.

“With the economy still lagging, SEED made 103 small business loans in 2013, totaling $33 million, leveraging $46 million in bank loans and private funds, and creating 636 new jobs,” said Gooch-Smith, adding that SEED’s total current active portfolio of small business loans is $109 million.


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