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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Community Advantage–an SBA pilot loan program targeted to underserved small businesses–is now available statewide, thanks to Appalachian Development Corp. (ADC), the only Community Advantage lender in South Carolina. Launched in 2011 by the SBA, Community Advantage helps small businesses that often fall outside the scope of traditional lending standards–such as startup businesses–to access up to $250,000 in financing through nonprofit financial intermediaries.

ADC, an economic development nonprofit lender based in the Upstate, is offering Community Advantage loans of $25,000-$250,000 to qualified South Carolina small businesses. SBA initially certified ADC to offer the loans to Upstate businesses.

“By expanding the Community Advantage loan program statewide, Appalachian has increased the financing options for many of our state’s small businesses,” said Elliott Cooper, district director of the SBA South Carolina District Office.

Since ADC received its Community Advantage certification earlier this year, it has made two Community Advantage loans and has another four loans pending SBA approval, according to David Mueller, ADC’s executive director.

“We feel that the financing needs of … small businesses, especially those that are new or developing, are encountering difficulties in sourcing their needs from conventional sources” Mueller said earlier this year. “Our mission with Community Advantage is to meet these financing needs.”

ADC’s other financing programs include its Appalachian Loan Fund, the SBA 504 Loan Program, the SBA Microloan Program and the USDA Rural Development Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. For more information, see

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