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A New Partnership: The SBA Community Express program is an innovative public/private partnership between Bank One, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), the SBA, and local community-based, nonprofit organizations.

Pilot Loan Program: The program is a new five year pilot lending program aimed at increasing small business lending in low and moderate income communities across the United States, including Chicago. Bank One is currently the exclusive Community Express lender in the Chicago area.

Increase Capital Access in Underserved Communities: Bank One aims to increase lending to small businesses in low and moderate income geographic areas. This program is designed to create economic growth, job creation, and realize untapped resources in the Chicago area.

Technical Assistance Component: The program places a heavy emphasis on technical assistance, both prior to and after the loan closes. Local community organizations will screen applicants and help the applicant develop the business plan and prepare the loan application. After the loan closes, technical assistance will continue with quarterly follow-ups, reviewing business performance and providing additional business development guidance as needed. Technical assistance is both critical to the success of many of the targeted businesses and mitigates some of the risk involved with these transactions.

Streamlined and expedited procedures: Community Express loan processing and approval procedures will be streamlined, including an abbreviated loan application. Bank One will maintain underwriting authority including being able to utilize internal loan analysis, processing procedures, and documentation.


This program has a $250,000 loan ceiling covering term loans, lines of credit, and commercial mortgages. Loans will be priced competitively and loan requests under $10,000 will be referred to our micro-loan partners in the Chicago community.


Chicago area community groups will partner with Bank One by serving as intake providers. As our program partners, these organizations will screen the applicant for eligibility, assist in the preparation of the loan application, and help the applicant develop the business plan. Once completed, applications will be submitted to the Community Affairs office at Bank One. If approved, the borrower will be required to participate in post-loan closing technical assistance through one of six designated technical assistance providers: Chicago Association of Neighborhood Planning Organizations (CANDO); Governor's State SBDC; Greater North Pulaski Development Corp.; Elgin Community College SBDC; Latin American Chamber of Commerce; and the Women's Business Development Center. Technical assistance will comprise of at least four quarterly meetings with one of the six providers, reviewing interim financial statements. Borrowers will also be encouraged to attend relevant business development seminars. If a Borrower exhibits difficulty or delinquency in repaying loans, intensive technical assistance will be provided and required.


If you have any further questions on this program, please call Caroline Goldstein in the Bank One Community Affairs department at (312) 732-4173 or Rob Lincoln, the Bank One Midwest SBA Sales Specialist, at (312) 407-5138.

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