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Bank makes it easy for women and minority entrepreneurs to apply for business loans

Minority and women entrepreneurs can take advantage of a new targeted loan program.

Union Bank of California has created the Urban Enterprise Banking Fast-Step Loan, which lets minority and women business owners apply for loans or credit lines of up to $100,000 using one simple application. Approval can come in as little as 48 hours, and under normal circumstances, credit lines are automatically renewed each year with no additional paperwork. The bank's system relies heavily on credit scoring to approve applicants.

Eligible companies must be 51 percent owned by women or minorities, have less than $10 million in revenue, and have been in business long enough (usually two years) to have endured initial growing pains. Targeted industries include professional services, manufacturing, wholesale and distribution. In addition, many loans don't even require submission of business financials; the bank relies instead on a blend of personal and business assets to determine eligibility.

For more information on the loan or to submit an application via the Internet, go to and click on "Small-Business Minority- And Woman-Owned Business," or call (800) 550-5045.

This story appears in the May 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »