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From the Redlands Daily Facts:

In the first partnership of its kind with a bank, the San Bernardino Valley Enterprise Zone is promoting an offer by Community Bank to slash interest rates on business loans by a quarter percent, plus waive or reduce loan fees.

For some businesses, it isn’t much. But larger companies could save thousands of dollars over the life of a loan, effectively boosting their bottom line as they recover from the recession.

“We get a state tax benefit on the income earned off of qualifying loans made to businesses in the enterprise zone,” said Larry Pyle, first vice president and business center manager for the Redlands and Yucaipa branches of Community Bank.

The discounted loans apply to businesses seeking working capital, equipment, owner-occupied commercial real estate and other types of lending.

While Community Bank isn’t the only bank able to pass along this benefit, it’s the first to come forward and team with the enterprise zone, according to Wendy Clements, manager of the zone.

“To come forward and say they are reducing interest rates and fees is a step in the right direction, given the economy we’re in,” Clements said. “This will save (business owners) money to reinvest back into their businesses.”

The San Bernardino Valley Enterprise Zone – which includes San Bernardino, parts of Colton and parts of county territory – is one of 42 in the state located in low-income regions.

Companies, including certain home-based businesses, reap significant tax savings by being located an enterprise zone, as long as their workers meet certain income qualifications and other requirements.

Clements estimates dozens of businesses – possibly hundreds – that haven’t yet taken advantage of enterprise-zone tax benefits.

The loan perks from Community Bank will help that much more, Clements said.

“They wanted to work with us,” she said about the bank. “No other bank has come to us.”

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