Fla. Lawmakers Pass Business Loans Bill

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Senate has approved Gov. Charlie Crist's $10 million pilot program to encourage business expansion with low-interest loans.

It passed on a 34-5 vote Friday. The House was set to vote later Friday as part of a special legislative session dealing with a budget deficit of at least $2.3 billion.

Businesses with 10 to 99 employees could obtain loans of up to $250,000 at a 2 percent interest rate to finance expansion if they guarantee they will create jobs.

At least 34 businesses could be helped by $8.5 million in loans. The remaining $1.5 million would be used for technical assistance to expanding businesses.

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