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With most of its business loans coming due in 2011, West Community Credit Union was seeking ways to assist its members with renewals when it came across a Missouri program aimed at creating and retaining jobs.

The $126 million credit union in O’Fallon, Mo., is among the first cooperatives in the state to partner with the Missouri Linked Deposit Program. Banks and credit unions go through an approval process to be able to provide low-interest loans to small businesses, expand the economy and strengthen communities statewide. Lenders can lower the interest rates to the borrower by two to three percentage points. In place for nearly 25 years, the program has $720 million available, according to Clint Zweifel, Missouri’s state treasurer.

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