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SMALL BUSINESS

SBA, Defense Dept. Expand Eligibility for Loan Program

April 01, 1998|STEPHEN GREGORY

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Defense Department have expanded eligibility for a $1-billion loan guarantee program to help wean defense-related businesses off the nation's shrinking military budget.

Small businesses are now eligible for the Defense Loan and Technical Assistance (DELTA) program if they can show that a quarter of their sales in any of the last five years came from contracts or subcontracts funded by the departments of Defense or Energy.

The program, launched by Congress in 1995, has also increased its loan guarantee percentage to 80%. Applicants must continue to meet size standards and other eligibility requirements of SBA loan programs.

Guarantees for loans up to $1.25 million are available for businesses that retain workers whose jobs would otherwise have been lost because of defense reductions; create jobs in communities hit hard by cutbacks; or retool and modernize their plants.

The SBA said guarantees are still available for up to $90 million in loans. For more information, call (800) 827-5722.

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