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SBA approves new Community Advantage lender

GULFPORT – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved Gulf Coast Renaissance Corporation (GCRC) as a lender in the Community Advantage Loan program.

“This will provide the much needed financing to small businesses in underserved communities in Mississippi to help in their development and growth,” said Janita R. Stewart, district director of the SBA in Mississippi.

“GCRC and the SBA share the same commitment to expand access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs in underserved communities to help drive economic growth and job creation, said Kimberly LaRosa, GCRC president and CEO.  “The addition of being able to provide a loan guarantee through the SBA’s Community Advantage program further solidifies this commitment. The loan guarantees offered through the Community Advantage loan program will allow us the comfort level to proceed with financing business that find access to capital a challenge.”

The Community Advantage loan program is designed to expand access to lower dollar loans and lending in traditionally underserved communities. SBA and the U.S. Department of Commerce studies have shown the importance of lower dollar loans to small business formation and growth in underserved communities.

“Underserved communities were hit disproportionately hard by the recession and this program is designed to help toward improving those areas,” said Stewart.

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.

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