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Sunday, Jul 21, 2024

Bush Provides Help for Small Businesses

President Bush gave a boost to small businesses this past week, signing legislation that will ensure more than $21 billion in small-business loans.

The passing of the Omnibus bill means that more small businesses will have access to loans, according to officials at the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The money will be dedicated to the SBA’s two main loan programs, the 7(a) loan guarantee program and the 504 program.

SBA’s flagship loan program, the 7(a) loan guarantee program, which is used for startup businesses and existing small businesses, was boosted to $16 billion, an increase of $3.5 billion, or 28 percent more than what the program provided last fiscal year.

The 7(a) program also received enhancements to its SBAExpress program, which helps streamline the process and reduces the cost of smaller and less-complex SBA loans.

The SBAExpress program raised its maximum loan size to $350,000 with a 50 percent government guarantee.

The legislation also expanded the agency’s 504 loan program, which is used for the purchase of real estate, buildings and machinery, to the $5 billion level and raising the maximum loan size for manufacturers to $4 million.

The legislation also reauthorizes the agency’s programs and provides a $580 million budget for fiscal year 2005, which runs from Oct. 1, 2004, to Sept. 30, 2005.

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Children’s Aid:

Local entrepreneur Allison Rynne recently released a new product line for her store, Shwoomp! Adventures in Bathing, a bath and body boutique in Hillcrest. The name of her product line, however, was not decided by Rynne or the 10 employees at her store, but by 50 fifth-graders from Freese Elementary School in San Diego. On Nov. 29, Rynne visited the school and led teams of four to six students in creative thinking sessions to brainstorm names for the fruity smelling and blue-in-color bath products. Out of 110 names provided by the students, the final result was Blue-Ba Dive.

Shwoomp has already labeled the products and began selling the new line Dec. 3.

Established in November 2003, Shwoomp sells products with creative and unique names. Other products found at the store include Sir Shave a Lot; Be Wise, Man; Rosey Posey; and What’s Up Buttercup?

Rynne said she is always looking for interesting names for her products and said the time spent with the students at Freese Elementary was a great experience.

“We pride ourselves in having fun names at our store,” Rynne said, “and kids are great at being creative.”

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Anniversary Ale:

Vista-based brewery Green Flash Brewing, Inc. has released a new ale in celebration of the company’s second anniversary. The barley wine-style ale was released throughout San Diego County at special venues such as the Liars Club in Mission Beach and Pizza Port in Carlsbad.

Green Flash Brewing, which has 12 employees, also has the ale on draft at the brewery’s tasting room.

Beginning in January, the company will be releasing 1,000 cases of the ale to retailers around the county, such as Costco Wholesale and Henry’s Marketplace.

Established in 2002, Green Flash has doubled its sales since its inception and has seven brews available in retail outlets throughout San Diego.


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