While a federal report says the number of small business loans to blacks nearly -TRIPLED- nationwide during the latter part of the 90s, there was -NO- such growth in Iowa. The district director of Iowa’s Small Business Administration office in Des Moines says the numbers remained steady.Cheryl Eftink is “happy” with the numbers, since Iowa’s population is less than five-percent black. About one-percent of S-B-A loans made in Iowa during the last half of the 90s went to blacks, but she says only about one-half of one-percent of Iowa small businesses are owned by blacks.Eftink says one such S-B-A program that targets minorities is called “Pre- Qual” which is short for pre-qualification.Pre-Qual enables minorities who are potential new small business owners to get pre-qualified for loans before meeting with a lender. Pre-Qual is also available to Iowa veterans and rural Iowans. For more information, contact the S-B-A office in Des Moines or Cedar Rapids.
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