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Banks aiming to get low-interest loans to companies slammed by Sandy

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Bank of America and Provident Bank are helping make low-interest loans available to small businesses hurt by Hurricane Sandy by partnering with community development financial institutions — nonprofit lenders that promote economic development in low and moderate income communities.

Bank of America said it will provide $20 million in new funding for CDFIs that make low-cost loans to small businesses and homeowners in New Jersey and New York that need cash to rebuild. Bank of America will provide the funds to CDFIs at a 0 percent interest rate.

Among the New Jersey-based CDFIs being funded by Bank of America are New Jersey Community Capital, in New Brunswick, and the Regional Business Assistance Corp., of Camden.

“The rebuilding has only just begun here in New Jersey, and capital from Bank of America is an important part of our ability to help small business owners and communities impacted by the storm,” said Wayne Meyer, president of New Jersey Community Capital.

The Provident Bank Foundation will provide $250,000 to CDFIs and nonprofit community development corporations to make fast, affordable loans to businesses in hard-hit areas. The foundation also will make grants up to $25,000 to organizations providing relief to small businesses.

“Many small businesses have been devastated by this disaster, and need access to capital to help them get back on their feet,” said Chris Martin, president of the Provident Bank Foundation and CEO of Provident Bank. “This initiative is a way for Provident to directly help people restore their businesses.”

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