CHARLOTTE, N.C. – While credit unions have recently been given open access to the Small Business Administration 7(a) loans, Bank of America has been busy and is now ranked as the nation’s No. 1 SBA lender to minority groups. According to Bank of America, one-in-three SBA loans granted by the bank last fiscal year went to minority-owned businesses. The ranking follows on the heels of the bank being named the top overall SBA lender in the country, with 3,917 loans granted in fiscal year 2002 (October 2001 through September 2002). Figures supplied by the SBA indicate that the bank directed 1,319 SBA 7(a) loans, and 28% of its total SBA loan dollars, to minority-owned businesses. “We believe in helping business owners of every background achieve their dreams, and this most recent honor is concrete proof that our efforts are succeeding,” said Dana Drago, Bank of America small business segment executive. “Experience teaches us that strengthening businesses also strengthens communities, and that’s one reason we worked so hard to achieve our SBA minority lending leadership rank.” Nationwide the bank’s SBA 7(a) loans to Hispanics placed second while lending to African Americans, Native Americans and Asians ranked first.

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