Aiming to spur an additional $1 billion in lending next year, the Small Business Administration will expand two programs that provide federal guarantees of the smallest commercial loans with minimal red tape, starting Oct. 1.

"These programs are fast and easy for both lenders and borrowers," SBA Administrator Aida M. Alvarez said in a prepared statement. The agency aims to nearly double to $2.3 billion the amount of loans backed under these two programs for start-ups, women- and minority-owned companies, and rural businesses in the 1999 fiscal year, she said.

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