NEW YORK – Another recently-inked alliance to tap more into the credit union industry's growing entry into the small business market involves the SBA's 7(a) loan program. On Sept. 6, Newtek Business Services, Inc. announced that its subsidiary small business lender, Newtek Small Business Finance, Inc. had closed a $75 million dollar senior revolving loan transaction with GE Commercial Finance. This new facility will be primarily utilized to originate and warehouse the unguaranteed portions of loans under the SBA 7(a) loan program and for other working capital purposes. GE Commercial Finance underwrote the entire $75 million facility and intends to participate out smaller amounts of the loan to CIT Group and Signature Bank, according to Newtek. The facility is for three years and refinances the previous facility with a Deutsche Bank affiliate. "This facility will finally give the lender the running room to originate loans freely knowing that it has a term facility to warehouse and finance its growth," said Barry Sloane, chairman and CEO of Newtek Small Business Finance. "Without this long term capital available, the lending business was always limiting its origination potential." Newtek has partnerships with more than 90 credit unions, leagues and is a strategic alliance partner with CUNA. "We are excited about our lender being able to concentrate on its core business now that its financing needs are taken care of," Sloane said. "I am confident that we can now resume the high growth rate that we initially had in this business at its inception." Based in Stamford, Conn., $232 billion GE Commercial Finance provides lending products, growth capital, revolving lines of credit, equipment leasing of every kind, cash flow programs, asset financing, and more to clients in more than 35 countries. The news comes a little over two months since Newtek joined the new Russell Microcap(TM) Index when Russell Investment Group reconstituted its family of U.S. indexes. The Russell Microcap Index, which will be comprised of the smallest 1,000 securities in the small-cap Russell 2000(R) Index plus the next 1,000 companies, based on a ranking of all U.S. equities by market capitalization. This new index offers managers and other investors a comprehensive, unbiased barometer to compare their performance against the genuine microcap marketplace of stocks. [email protected]

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