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CUs can qualify for two SBA initiatives
WASHINGTON (12/16/10)—Qualified credit unions and other lenders will soon have two new Small Business Administration (SBA) programs to back their loans to small businesses in certain markets. The SBA announced two initiatives Wednesday: the Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage programs. They are aimed at increasing the number of lower-dollar SBA 7(a) loans going to small businesses and entrepreneurs in underserved communities, according to an SBA announcement. Credit unions may qualify to be SBA 7(a) lenders. The SBA’s most popular loan product--the 7(a) government-guaranteed loans--can be used for variety of general business purposes, including working capital and purchases of equipment and real estate. The agency said both Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage will offer a streamlined application process for SBA-guaranteed 7(a) loans up to $250,000. The loans will come with the regular 7(a) government guarantee: 85% for loans up to $150,000 and 75% for those greater than $150,000. In conjunction with the implementation of these two new Advantage loan initiatives by March 15, the agency will end its existing Community Express pilot loan program on April 30. SBA Administrator Karen Mills Wednesday also named Catherine L. Hughes, chairperson and founder of Radio One, Inc. and a former SBA borrower, to chair the agency’s new Advisory Council on Underserved Communities. During the next few weeks, the SBA will accept nominations for the 20 members who will serve on the panel. It is anticipated that members will reflect a variety of key sectors, including business owners, banking and finance, community development, nonprofit and academia. Member nominations can be emailed to underservedcouncil@sba.gov.
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