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

PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 2, 2005--U.S. Bank, the Arizona Minority Business Development Center (AMBDC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are rolling out the U.S. Bank SBA Community Express Loan program in Arizona to pump up small business lending in low-income and minority-dominated communities in the state.

U.S. Bank currently offers the Community Express Loan in a number of states including Minnesota, Colorado, Ohio, Washington, Missouri and California and plans to continue to expand the program as SBA approved technical assistance providers (TAPs), such as the AMBDC, support it.

U.S. Bank SBA Community Express will provide loans for businesses in low-to-moderate income communities, women-owned businesses and businesses in areas with high concentrations of minority residents that will help bolster areas that are facing economic challenges. The program will provide federally backed 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 than we would have before and to help strengthen the economies in the communities that we serve," said Hope Levin, regional president for U.S. Bank in Arizona. "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 TAPs, like the AMBDC, 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. AMBDC 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 the technical assistance this program offers add tremendous support for our small minority businesses," said Isauro "Izzy" Gonzalez, project director of AMBDC.

U.S. Bank is a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB). With $198 billion in assets, U.S. Bancorp is the 6th largest financial holding company in the United States. The company operates 2,377 banking offices and 4,654 ATMs in 24 states, 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 in which the company pays customers if certain key banking benefits and services are not met. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at usbank.com.

CONTACT: U.S. Bank Media Relations
Amy Frantti, 612-303-0733


"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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