BALTIMORE — It may be a huge stretch but who's to say if Olympic eight-time gold medal winner Michael Phelps would be a swimming icon today if it weren't for the Small Business Administration?

According to the agency, in 1994, SBA guaranteed a 504 loan to finance the Meadowbrook Aquatic & Fitness Club, Phelps' training facility in his hometown of Baltimore. SBA's 504 program provides long-term, fixed-rate, subordinate mortgage financing for acquiring or renovating capital assets including land, buildings and equipment. More than 400 credit unions now offer 504 and 7(a) loans.

However, a credit union can't make the claim of originating the aquatic center loan. Mid Atlantic Business Finance Company, a certified development company, has that distinction, SBA said.

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