Florida Business Loans

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ At least 34 Florida businesses will be
able to obtain low-interest loans from the state to help them

The state Legislature passed a bill (SB 38-A) Wednesday sought
by Gov. Charlie Crist to make $8.5 million available in loans of up
to $250,000 for expanding companies employing 10 to 50 people. The
measure includes another $1.5 million to provide technical
experience to businesses.

Critics said it amounts to corporate welfare. Supporters argued
that such "economic gardening'' is needed to help businesses that
cannot get loans for expansion due to tight credit in the
commercial market.

It passed 111-7 in the House and 29-11 in the Senate. The
measure now heads to Crist for his signature.

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