Changes to ESB Regulations

by OneGeorgia Authority

Revision to Entrepreneurial and Small Business (ESB) Loan Guarantee Program Regulations: At the March 7, 2008, OneGeogia Authority Board meeting, board members approved a change to the Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development Loan Guarantee Fund regulations. Executive Director Nancy Cobb explained that the proposed changes to the ESB Loan Guarantee Program would expand the Program to include those Conditionally Eligible counties with a population of less than 150,000, which would include 29 Conditionally Eligible counties in addition to the 111 already eligible rural counties for a total of 140. All of the 29 counties share a border with at least one rural county. For businesses operating in a Conditionally Eligible county, it would require that the business owner or majority principal reside in a directly eligible rural county. Mrs. Cobb stated that OneGeorgia’s focus will continue to be on growing Georgia’s more rural counties; however, the marketplace often dictates where a business must be located. Additionally, the revision would expand the Loan Guarantee from five years to a maximum of 10 years, so that the life of the loan would more appropriately be tied to the life of the assets. Cobb also noted that the revision includes adding the definition of a “Conditionally Eligible County” into the regulation as follows: Conditionally Eligible County which is not defined in (O.C.G.A. 50-32-2), shall be defined using the most recent data and estimates from the U.S. Bureau of the Census to mean a county with a population of less than 500,000 that shares a border with a Rural County. Governor Perdue thanked the participating Bankers present, stating that this program is a great use of OneGeorgia Authority’s resources.