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

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov 25, 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, areas with high concentrations of minority residents, and businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans that will help bolster areas that are facing economic challenges.

The U.S. Bank SBA Community Express program is currently available in Chicago, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, St. Louis, San Diego, Seattle, Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Nashville, Yakima, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota. The program is for loans and lines of credit up to $250,000 and start-up businesses are eligible.

"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 Mark Brooks, vice president and sales manager 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. They will then refer businesses to the bank when they are ready to apply for a loan. The business owner will hear a response on the loan application in 24 to 48 hours, depending on the size of the loan.

"The loan guarantee and assistance this program offers adds tremendous value for everyone involved in the transaction," said Janice Thomas, executive director of The Women's Resource Center, Inc. "By partnering with U.S. Bank it allows us to reach so many more small businesses in need."

U.S. Bancorp, with assets of $189 billion, is the eighth largest financial services holding company in the United States. The company operates 2,201 banking offices and 4,506 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
                  Karen Greenwood, 612-303-0731

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Copyright (C) 2003 Business Wire.  All rights reserved.

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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