VERMONT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (VEDA)SEES ITS VERMONT SBA 504 CORPORATION LOAN PROGRAM CAPACITY INCREASEDCongressional Action Increases Lending Authority of NationsSBA-Certified Development Corporations Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Economic Development Authoritys Vermont SBA 504 Corporation Loan Program — Vermonts only statewide SBA-authorized Certified Development Corporation (CDC) — will now be able to loan up to $4 million in SBA 504 funds to certain small manufacturing projects, a new category of lending established under the program. Limits for other qualifying business projects were increased as well, from $1 million to $1.5 million for regular 504 loans, and from $1.3 million to $2 million for loans that meet a public policy goal. The changes are a result of recent Congressional approval of provisions governing the 504 Loan Program through the FY05 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which has been signed into law. This is terrific news for Vermonts manufacturing community, in particular, said VEDA Chief Executive Officer Jo Bradley, noting that certain small manufacturers have been specified in the new provisions as being eligible for 504 loans of up to $4 million. Many other types of businesses in Vermont will benefit from additional expanded loan limits under the new law, as well — especially in a rising rate environment, Bradley said. SBA 504 funds are a federally-guaranteed source of fixed-rate, long-term, low-interest funding, and as such, are vital to Vermonts jobs creation and business expansion efforts. Under the SBA 504 Loan Program, which is funded through fee income from borrowers, lenders and CDCs, the U.S. Small Business Administration provides a 100 percent guaranty of a debenture, or pool of debentures, that is sold to investors. Once sold, a CDC then loans those funds to the borrower as a 504 loan. SBA 504 funding is a good deal for borrowers and bankers alike, Bradley explained, not only because of the long-term, below-market rates it offers, but also because the debt is subordinated to first-position mortgaging by a participating bank in an approved project. Its win-win, all the way around. VEDA was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2004 for the Authoritys work on a national scale as a high-performing CDC. Darcy Carter, Acting Director of the SBA Vermont District Office, noted that in the prior year, VEDAs Vermont SBA 504 Corporation Loan Program processed loans totaling almost $7 million, giving Vermont the biggest percentage increase in SBA 504 volume anywhere in the country. For more information about VEDAs Vermont SBA 504 Corporation Loan Program, interested parties should call 802-828-5627, or visit VEDAs website at www.veda.org(link is external). VEDA is a public instrumentality of the State of Vermont, created by the General Assembly in 1974. Its mission is to promote economic prosperity in Vermont by providing financial assistance to eligible businesses, including manufacturing, agricultural, and travel and tourism enterprises. In its 30-year history, VEDA has made financing commitments of over $1 billion.