WASHINGTON – Today Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) hosted a roundtable to discuss legislation to increase venture capital investment in small businesses across the country as well as Massachusetts. The roundtable featured a Massachusetts business owner and the Danvers-based equity fund that invested in the growing company using government-backed financing through the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program.

Edward F. Tierney, President of BISCO Environmental in Taunton, explained the importance of the SBIC program to successfully expand his company. BISCO Environmental is a leading provider of integrated soil and groundwater remediation equipment systems.

"Through the capital BISCO Environmental received as part of a small business program, we were able to make several important steps to reinvigorate the business, including increasing jobs in Taunton and other locations, developing and broadening new product lines, and expanding our operation. Seacoast Capital has been instrumental in supporting all of our efforts to grow and providing counsel to our management team," said Mr. Tierney.

Seacoast Capital Partners II, L.P. invested in a management buyout of BISCO Environmental in 2005. Through capital provided by Seacoast as part of the SBIC program, BISCO Environmental's revenues are expected to grow from $6 million in 2005 to $13 million this year. Tom Gorman, co-founder and managing partner of Seacoast Capital, spoke in support of legislative proposals put forward by Sen. Kerry.

"The SBIC program is a great program, but like any program it can be improved. These proposals will simplify what is considered a complex program and make the SBIC program more attractive to investment professionals such as myself and to the critically important private investors who invest in our funds," said Mr. Gorman.

"Ed Tierney had a good business plan and a vision for creating jobs here in Massachusetts, but he needed the shot in the arm that only a federal small business investment program could provide," said Kerry, Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and entrepreneurship. "It took the commitment of a public-private partnership and the good sense of Tom Gorman and Seacoast to turn this great idea into a reality. Ed and Tom are the reasons why we need to strengthen and expand the SBIC program to jump-start more local economies and create more jobs in Massachusetts."

Kerry's Small Business Venture Capital Act will reauthorize the SBIC program through 2010, ensuring the continued availability of needed venture capital for small firms. It will also simplify the program's regulations, encouraging new and existing investors to increase their involvement.