Few companies benefitting from EDC loan program

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The $75 million for former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s video game company 38 Studios came from the state’s Economic Development Corporation loan guaranty program.

The EDC had $50 million left after Schilling took his share.

NBC 10 News learned Tuesday that of the $50 million, only $5.5 million has been committed to other companies.

About $4 million went to The Corporate Marketplaces in North Kingstown, a company with about 30 employees that continues to grow.

“We had completely outgrown our space on Ten Rod Road and we just came in here because we knew where we were going with the growth perspective,” said Chris Crawford of The Corporate Marketplaces.

A little more than two years ago, Crawford’s company was recruited by the state’s economic development corporation to take part in the job creation guaranty program.

Crawford had a bank willing to lend $4 million, if the state would guarantee it.

“They called us the poster child for this program. Small Rhode Island company, growing like crazy, had need for more capital,” he said.

Two years ago, he thought he’d get approval.

“The Curt Schilling 38 Studios deal came along and because of that we were put into kind of a rest area. All told, it took us 18 months,” Crawford said.

Crawford’s company limped along during that time, and now his company is being closely watched by both the bank and the state.

“The audit has to be shared with both of them. The bank and EDC also send their staffs in here to verify everything,” he said.

Crawford’s company is the only company to take money out of the program.

NuLabel Technologies was approved for $1.5 million but has private funding, leaving nearly $45 million the EDC is authorized to guarantee sitting.

An EDC spokeswoman told NBC 10 that there have been 20 companies that have applied for loan guarantees from the program over the last two years.

She didn’t say how many companies were in line to receive money from the EDC.

Since the failed 38 Studios deal, Gov. Lincoln Chafee has instituted a $10 million cap for any one company.

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