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SCDOC: S.C. Capital Access Program Provides Nearly $7 Million in Loans

June 5, 2009

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kara Borie, SCDOC, 803.737.1998

S.C. Capital Access Program Provides Nearly $7 Million in Loans

Program has provided 146 loans to businesses throughout the state

COLUMBIA, S.C. – June 5, 2009 – The South Carolina Capital Access Program (SC CAP) has provided more than $6.96 million in loans to small businesses throughout the state since the program started in 2007. The program has provided 146 loans in total, with the average loan being more than $40,000.

“The SC CAP is an excellent program that has proven to be successful in assisting small businesses and providing millions of dollars in vital business loans to companies across our state. This program provides a solid vehicle for loans to small businesses while encouraging participation from local banks by establishing a means to reduce risk exposure. SC CAP is an important tool to assist small businesses and encourage growth and job creation even during these challenging economic times,” said Joe Taylor, Secretary of Commerce.

SC CAP is designed to give financial institutions operating in South Carolina a flexible and non-bureaucratic tool to make business loans that are more risky than conventional loans. The program is based on an insuring concept and used to offset losses on any loan provided by a financial institution as part of SC CAP. The program’s reserve fund is owned by the State of South Carolina and managed by the Business Development Corporation (BDC).

Last year, roughly 26 percent of the SC CAP loans went to woman- and minority-owned businesses, with an average loan of $53,625. In aggregate, the amount of loans funded last year totaled more than $4.4 million, a 32 percent increase from 2007 in the number of loans offered across the state.

SC CAP has also assisted businesses in the retention and creation of new jobs in South Carolina. Last year, 544 jobs were affected by SC CAP, with 75 positions related to new job creation.

“The availability of funding for small businesses through the SC CAP has broadened the funding services available to small businesses and has aided BDC in meeting its corporate objective of economic development and job creation. We are proud to be a part of this program,” said Edwin O. Lesley, president and chief executive officer of the BDC.

Much of the SC CAP loan activity occurred in South Carolina’s metropolitan areas – more than 84 percent. The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester area saw the highest amount of SC CAP loan activity, with about 53 percent of all loans made in 2008. The Columbia area represented more than 23 percent and the Greenville-Spartanburg area represented more than four percent of loan activity. Areas outside of South Carolina’s metropolitan areas accounted for about 16 percent of SC CAP loans. As the program continues to grow it is expected to achieve more geographic balance.

Financial institutions currently participating in SC CAP include: 1st Federal of South Carolina, FSB; Ameris Bank; Bank of Clarendon; BankMeridian; BB&T; The Citizens Bank; Community Resource Bank; Congaree State Bank; First Citizens Bank; First Community Bank; First Federal of Charleston; First Savers Bank; Harbor National Bank; NBSC; South Carolina Bank & Trust, NA; South Carolina Bank & Trust – Piedmont.

For more information about SC CAP or to download the program brochure, please visit http://www.businessdevelopment.org/sccap.php.

About S.C. Department of Commerce

As South Carolina’s leading economic development agent, the Department of Commerce works closely with economic development professionals throughout the state to recruit new businesses and jobs and help existing businesses grow. In 2008 Commerce recruited a record 18,993 new jobs and $4.17 billion in capital investment. Many well-known names and world-class companies chose to invest in South Carolina during 2008, some of which include: Target Corp., Home Depot, Heinz, Monster, American Titanium Works, BMW, Michelin and URS Corp. Commerce also assists companies in locating buildings and sites in which to operate, offers grants for community development and infrastructure improvements and provides tools to enhance workforce skills. For more information, visit http://www.SCcommerce.com.

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