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New loan program for NYS contractors

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference Feb. 12, 2014, in Albany. Credit: AP / Mike Groll

Seeking to spur more women and minority-owned companies to do business with the state, Empire State Development on Thursday established a loan loss reserve that will make available at least $15 million for state contractors.

The $2.3-million reserve is designed to encourage lenders to provide working capital to companies that win state contracts.

On Long Island, TruFund Financial Services Inc. and New York Business Development Corp. have been charged with providing loans.

The Bridge to Success Loan Program, announced by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in November, aims to help small businesses fulfill state contracts, which often involve payment coming long after the contract was issued. This hardship discourages small businesses from bidding for government work, officials said.

Thursday's action takes statewide a test program in New York City.

Under the program, TruFund and others would provide loans of up to $200,000 to businesses as a bridge until the state payment comes through. The loans would be for eight to 18 months.

Since Cuomo was elected governor in 2010, the amount of state worked awarded to women and minority-owned businesses has more than doubled, to 21.06 percent last year.

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