Chicago-based South Shore Bank is unveiling a $20 million loan program today aimed at local churches.

South Shore, a $785 million-asset community redevelopment bank, created the loan pool to finance ventures such as church-run community centers and day-care facilities. The loans may also be used for real estate purchases and church construction projects.

The bank, a subsidiary of Shorebank Corp. of Chicago, has been lending to churches since 1996 and has made $20 million of loans to congregations so far. It plans to lend an additional $20 million by the end of the year.

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