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In an effort to woo more small businesses, the SBA said it has temporarily expanded its 7(a) loan program to allow businesses to qualify based on net worth and average income.On May 1, the agency said the temporary 7(a) loan size standard will parallel the standard for its 504 Certified Development Company loan. The net worth for the company and its affiliates cannot be in excess of $8.5 million. The average net income after federal income taxes excluding any carry-over losses for the preceding two completed fiscal years cannot be more than $3 million.The change was scheduled to go into effect the week of May 4 and will run through Sept. 30, 2010, the SBA said. As a result of the temporary change, more than 70,000 additional small businesses, including auto and RV dealerships, auto industry suppliers and others could be eligible to apply for SBA 7(a) loans, according to the agency.In March, the SBA raised the guarantee on 7(a) loans to 90% and reduced fees for borrowers. Since then, it said it has seen average weekly 7(a) loan volume increase by more than 25% and new SBA loans made by nearly 450 lenders who had not made loans since October 2008.

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