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U.S. Bank Offers Small Business Administration Loan Program That Invests in Challenged Communities

SEATTLE, Jun 9, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- U.S. Bank, in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), is rolling out a new loan program that is geared for businesses in low-to-moderate income communities and areas with high concentrations of minority residents that will help bolster areas that are facing economic challenges.

The U.S. Bank SBA Community Express program is currently available in Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Seattle, and will expand more broadly later in 2003. The program is for loans and lines of credit up to $250,000, and startup businesses are eligible. The business owner will hear a response on the application in 24 to 48 hours, depending on the size of the loan.

"We're offering this program to be able to approve more loans that we would not before and to help strengthen the economies in the communities that we serve," said Kent Stone, executive vice president of U.S. Bank Small Business Banking. "Unlike traditional SBA loans, these loans are specifically designated for economically challenged areas, plus, with the generous government guarantee, it gives us the ability to say 'yes' to loan applications more often."

SBA-qualified Technical Assistance Providers (TAPs) in each city will assist businesses in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each loan application and will help them create an action plan that articulates the steps the business must take to be successful in the program. The work provided by the TAPs is a critical component of the SBA Community Express program.

"We are very pleased to bring our 18 years of experience working in Washington and Oregon's low-income communities to this effort," said Shaw Canale, executive director and CEO of Cascadia Revolving Fund in Seattle.

Cascadia Revolving Fund, a non-profit community development financial institution, provides loans and technical assistance to support small businesses, childcare providers, and community-based non-profit organizations. This certified CDFI focuses on businesses owned by low-income individuals, women, minorities or immigrants, as well as businesses that diversify and create jobs in rural communities and distressed urban areas. Since 1985 Cascadia has lent more than $25 million and provided technical assistance to more than 2,000 unbankable businesses in Washington and Oregon.

U.S. Bancorp, with assets in excess of $182 billion, is the 8th largest financial services holding company in the United States. The company operates 2,200 banking offices and 4,582 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp is home of the Five Star Service Guarantee which assures customers of certain key banking benefits and services or customers will be paid for their inconvenience. U.S. Bancorp is the parent company of U.S. Bank. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at usbank.com.

SOURCE: U.S. Bank

CONTACT:          U.S. Bank
                  Teri Charest, 612/303-0732

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SOURCE: U.S. Bank

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding U.S. Bancorp's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.



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