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Agency Plans Program for Manufacturers’ Loans

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Economic Development Administration seeks public comments on its plan to create a loan guarantee program for U.S. manufacturers that use innovative technology.

The Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act gives the Economic Development Administration authority to issue loan guarantees to companies for small and medium-sized manufacturers to finance projects that "re-equip, expand, or establish" manufacturing facilities to use an innovative technology or process.

The administration also can give loan guarantees to companies that "manufacture an innovative technology product or an integral component of such a product, [or] commercialize an innovative product, process or idea developed by research funded in whole or in part by a grant from the federal government."

The administration plans to create a program to provide these loan guarantees, and asked 15 questions of lenders and manufacturers in an attempt to gauge the level of demand for the program.

The administration also inquired about what qualifies as a "medium-sized manufacturer" and asked about the sizes of various loans manufacturers would request.

Comments must be submitted by May 15.

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