In effort to speed up the granting of state guaranteed loans to small and minority businesses, the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority has designated four banks as preferred lenders.
The banks selected are Harbor Bank of Maryland, First National Bank of Maryland, Signet Bank/Maryland and Maryland National Bank.
The financing authority is part of the Department of Economic and Employment Development.
The banks will complete the loan applications and all necessary documentation for the guaranteed loans, then submit them to the financing authority.
The traditional method, which requires the business to get the application from the financing authority, takes longer, said DEED spokesman Curt Matthews.
The new procedure reduces the waiting time to less than five days from 45 days, according to DEED.
The guarantees provided by the financing authority cover as much as 75 percent of a loan. The loans are limited to $250,000 per borrower.
The interest rate is set at 2 percentage points above the lender's prime rate.
Last year the financing authority guaranteed $5 million worth of loans in 20 deals, Mr. Matthews said.
The loans helped create 145 jobs, jobs and retain 492 others, he said.