Heard on the Street: small business lending, seed funding, and opportunities in Appalachia

Heard on the Street – here’s what we were reading last week:

Mayor Walsh Launches Roxbury Small Business Center: Following recommendations from the Small Business Plan released just over two years ago, the City of Boston announced the launch of Small Business Center’s third workshop series. The Center will offer six free workshops on small business contracting opportunities, financial and legal resources, and networking opportunities.

Appalachia – the next great investment: Gerry Roll, Executive Director of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, explains why it’s time to start paying attention to the Appalachian region of Kentucky, which is home to more than 1.2 million people. “We have enough courage to believe there is a future for a big swath of our nation that does not exist in urban centers or on the coasts.”

Backstage Capital launches $36m fund to boost black female founders: “In an industry dominated by white men, it can be hard for founders to find investors who look like them. That’s why Arlan Hamilton built Backstage Capital. Her firm’s mission is to provide early seed financing exclusively to founders who are women, people of color, and LGBT – groups that are massively underrepresented among Silicon Valley founders compared to the general population.”

The Most Important Small Business Lending Program You’ve Never Heard Of: The State Small Business Credit Initiative, created as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2012, is a credit program, where funds are used for loan guarantees, loan participations, or loan loss reserves. But the funding for the program expired in March, leaving it up to individual states to decide if and how to continue it.