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Community News: Southwest

SOUTHWEST : Quake Aid Loans for Small Firms Offered

October 23, 1994

The Community Financial Resource Center, in conjunction with First African Methodist Episcopal Church, will provide loans of up to $25,000 for small and new businesses as a way to bolster the economy in the aftermath of the January earthquake.

The $300,000 loan program will disburse money through FAME Renaissance, the nonprofit economic development arm of First AME Church. The 2-year-old center, launched jointly by city and private agencies, provides businesses and homeowners with financial services and counseling.

Resource center Executive Director Roberto Barragan said businesses that were already in financial straits were pushed closer to the edge by the quake.

Many businesses, including several at Santa Barbara Plaza in the Crenshaw district, have been rejected for loans and disaster assistance by the Small Business Administration and banks. Barragan said the resource center's loan criteria will be much more lenient.

"These loans are for people who need to hire a person, open a storefront, get back inventory," he said. "Our goal is to put all the money out into the streets. . . . Then we can concentrate on getting more."

The funds were made available through participating resource center banks, the city Community Development Department and the center's own seed loan program.

Information and registration: (213) 730-9194.

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