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HOPE approved as first Community Advantage lender

JACKSON — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE) as its first lender in the Community Advantage Loan program in Mississippi.

HOPE CEO Bill Bynum said, “For small, rural and minority entrepreneurs, financing can be the most elusive resource. With the Community Advantage program, we can help even more companies stabilize, grow and contribute to rebuilding the economy.”

The Community Advantage pilot program, announced in December 2010, is designed to expand access to lower-dollar loans and lending in traditionally underserved communities.

Community Advantage offers a streamlined application process for SBA-guaranteed 7(a) loans up to $250,000. Advantage loans also come with the regular 7(a) government guarantee, 85 percent for loans up to $150,000 and 75 percent for those greater than $150,000.

It is specifically aimed at expanding points of access to capital for small business owners by opening SBA’s 7(a) loan program to community-based, mission-focused financial institutions, including community development financial institutions, SBA’s certified development companies and SBA’s nonprofit microlending intermediaries.

Read more about the Community Advantage program at www.sba.gov/advantage.

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